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Published on Mar 8, 2012
A combination of poorly-informed government decisions and bureaucratic bungling is creating a medical emergency for Texas' thousands of dual-eligible patients and the physicians who care for them. "Dual-eligibles" are people old enough to qualify for Medicare as their health insurer, and poor enough to qualify for Medicaid assistance. Hundreds of thousands of them live across Texas. But budget cuts and bureaucratic bungling are threatening their care -- and more. This video introduces a Rio Grande Valley physician who cares for many these patients. Since January he's treated these patients as always, but has received no Medicare payments and very little in payments from Texas through Medicaid. As a result he is exhausting personal savings and turning to bank loans to keep his medical practice open to serve his patients. He doesn't know how long he can hold out. This physician is not alone. Physicians who care for dual-eligible patients in poor communities from rural Texas to inner cities are caught in this vise.