Patients, Doctors React To Medicaid Compromise - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/14/05

Patients, Doctors React To Medicaid Compromise

Tamara had a 102 degree temperature. The 10-month-old needed a doctor. And she got to see one, because the legislature temporarily funded Medicaid.

Brandy Ladner is Tamara's mother.

"We're a low income family, so we don't have money to put out for the doctor's visit," she said. "So having Medicaid does help a whole lot."

Before the weekend special session in Jackson, and before the legislative compromise reached at almost midnight on Sunday, doctors at the Children's Center of Gulfport told WLOX News they had no plans to turn away Medicaid patients.

Dr. Fauzia Quddus works at the center.

"Everyone that comes here as a patient is a patient and gets the same care," she said.

Still, the legislative funding was a much needed shot in the arm.

"I'm pleased," Dr. Quddus said. "I had expected that they could come through because they just couldn't leave a situation like this hanging."

The $240 million loan from the health care trust fund solves one Medicaid issue. But Dr. William Carr says it doesn't put a band-aid on Medicaid's bigger crisis.

"I mean the legislature not funding isn't the whole problem," he said. "The problem is with Medicaid itself. It isn't taking care of patients like it should."

At least on this visit, little Tamara did get the treatment she needed for her fever. And thanks to the Medicaid agreement, Mom, and the doctors, didn't get stuck with the bill.

by Brad Kessie

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