By Julian Pecquet - 09/14/11 02:57 PM EDT
Cutting Medicaid could leave hundreds of thousands of people across the country facing life-threatening illnesses on their own, patient advocates said Wednesday.
The advocacy group Families USA partnered with the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Lung Association to determine how many people with cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic lung disease depend on Medicaid. They released information on four major states — California, New York, Texas and Illinois — Wednesday, with more to come later.
The reports come as the deficit supercommittee considers ways to shrink the deficit by $1.5 trillion, including massive cuts to healthcare entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid.
"Cuts to Medicaid would pose a specific and dangerous threat to hundreds of thousands of [people] who depend on the program for regular treatment for such medical conditions as cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease and stroke," the groups said in a joint statement. "Without Medicaid, many of these seriously ill [people] would no longer be able to fill essential prescriptions, keep up with key screenings or see a doctor if their condition worsens or recurs."