State budget cuts affecting DSHS - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State budget cuts affecting DSHS

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- State lawmakers approved a plan over the weekend to cut $590 million. The state's actual budget short fall is $1.1 billion.

The medicaid purchasing administration sent out a letter to people who use healthcare services from DSHS. It states that starting January 1st, 2011, many optional programs will no longer be available. This only applies to those 21 and older. Services include:

  • Dental (non-emergency medical and surgical services)
  • Hearing Devices (i.e. hearing aids, implants, or repair of parts)
  • Hospice Services
  • Foot Care
  • Speech Therapies
  • Vision Aides (eyeglass frames, lenses, contacts however eye exams WILL still be offered)

Jacob and Apryl Mains just signed for Medicaid. They say "it's pretty humbling to be in situations where you want to go out and get some extra assistance to provide for your family and then to hear the state wants to cut back on even that when the economy is already down hill it's a kick in the pants."

Many people KNDU spoke with did not know DSHS will be scaling back, but they all agreed; cuts shouldn't be taken from healthcare services.