WASHINGTON - The numbers are devastating: almost 2,000 poor kids in Texas with cancer, another 18,000 with diabetes and more than 350,000 suffering from chronic lung disease, heart disease or stroke.
What sounds like a grim statistical report on poverty and disease is actually a lobbying message from Medicaid advocates to Texas congressman Jeb Hensarling, Republican co-chairman of a special congressional panel charged with cutting at least $1.2 trillion from the US deficit over 10 years.
The message is in a 14-page electronic brochure titled "Medicaid's Impact in Texas," sent to Hensarling and other Texas lawmakers by the health consumer advocacy group Families USA, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association and American Lung Association.
The aim is to remind Congress of the potential human toll from tens of billions of dollars in federal Medicaid spending cuts that the groups expect Hensarling and his fellow "super committee" members to consider in the coming weeks.
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