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Vol. 74/No. 49      December 27, 2010

Arizona ends some
Medicaid transplants
In October the Arizona state government decided to end Medicaid financing for lung transplants, liver transplants for hepatitis C patients, and some bone marrow and pancreas transplants. The action amounts to a death sentence for some. The state says it will save $4.5 million a year.

Already several people have died who had been on Medicaid and couldn't afford to pay for the operations themselves. Some who had been on transplant waiting lists for a year or more were told they would not receive their needed procedure.

"I know times are tight and cuts are needed but you can't cut human lives," said Flor Felix, whose husband needs a liver transplant. The state refused to pay for it and the family has not been able to raise the money.

"There will have to be more difficult cuts looking forward," Jennifer Carusetta, chief legislative liaison at the state Medicaid agency, told the New York Times.  
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