- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Health officials plan to ease steep Medicaid cuts slated for therapy programs for disabled children amid a legal challenge and increasing pressure from state lawmakers.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission chief Chris Traylor said in a Thursday letter that the agency would work to “preserve access to care” even if “full” funding reductions approved by the Legislature “cannot be achieved.”

Traylor’s letter follows Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate budget writer Jane Nelson defending lawmakers’ seeking to cut $350 million in Medicaid spending. But both added that those cuts shouldn’t block access to services.

Opponents say roughly 60,000 kids statewide would lose access to speech and occupational therapists due to the cuts.

Last week, a state district judge issued an injunction blocking the cuts, though the state can appeal.

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