Budget Cuts Health care program costs are always increasing. The federal government provides funding for the different government funded health care programs. According to the Congressional Budget Office (2016), The funding comes in three forms, “through mandatory outlays for health care programs, subsidies for health care that are conveyed through reductions in federal taxes and spending for health programs funded through annual discretionary appropriations” (pg. 215). It is important to cut spending and therefore to help to reduce the federal deficit. One way to cut spending is to impose caps on federal spending for Medicaid (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). This could affect a physician’s practice in many ways. The Proposed Option There is a proposed option to impose caps on federal spending for Medicaid (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Medicaid is a federal health care program that helps to provide coverage for low income people and children. Currently the federal government and individual states share the costs associated with Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (2016), “On average, the federal government pays about 63 percent of program costs, with a range among the states of 51 percent to the current high of 80 percent, reflecting the variation in state per capita income and in the share of enrollees (if any) in each state that became eligible for Medicaid as a result of the optional expansion of that program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” (pg. 222). One of the proposed ways to cap the spending is to cap per-enrollee spending. This would give each person enrolled in Medicaid a specific amount that they could spend on health care. Another option is to cap how much each state would receive for Medicaid programs. Affecting a Physicians Practice Many physicians who accept Medicaid as a form of insurance already take a hit because Medicaid can pay less than Medicare or a private health insurance policy for certain things. The option to reduce sending by imposing caps on Medicaid funding could cause states to reduce payment rates even more and it could mean less physicians will accept a Medicaid patient (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Many managed care plans may even make their networks smaller or drop out of the program (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Another way that states could reduce spending is to reduce the covered services leaving patients to pay out of pocket for services or to not get the service at all (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Physicians who accept Medicaid will feel the effects of this proposed option. It will make them seriously consider whether to participate or not. This could leave many patients without a physician. Conclusion While it is true that federal spending needs to be reduced to help to fix the national deficit it is important that we remember that Medicaid patients and programs are for people who have basically nothing. They are accepted into a Medicaid program because they fall below the federal poverty guidelines and have no assets. How can taking from this program be of any benefit? Many Medicaid patients already struggle to get the health care they need and to cut the program even more could make many people lose their coverage or not get the care they need. It is also not helpful to physicians who would lose a great deal of income by accepting Medicaid patients. References Congressional Budget Office. (2016). Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2017 to 2026.