Senate Democrats

Reid Pledges to Governors to Protect Medicaid Funding

Today, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid met with the Democratic Governors Association and pledged to work with the Governors to protect Medicaid funding for seniors, women, children, and people with disabilities.

“I am greatly concerned that the President and some Republican members of Congress have put the Medicaid program on the budget chopping block, putting the health of seniors, women, children, and people with disabilities at risk. I am committed to working with the governors to find solutions to the long term financial difficulties facing the Medicaid program while protecting the well being of some of the most vulnerable members of society. All Democrats are determined to find ways to cut the Republican deficits, but we should not do so by simply shifting the burden onto the states while the President hides the true cost of his tax cuts and Social Security privatization.”

BUSH’S BUDGET SLASHES MEDICAID FUNDS AND WILL INCREASE THE UNINSURED

Bush’s Budget Cuts Medicaid by $60 billion. Bush’s budget for FY 2006 cuts Medicaid funding and shifts the burden onto states. “The Administration’s budget proposes $45 billion in federal Medicaid funding reductions over the period from fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2015. The Administration proposes to reduce federal funding to states for Medicaid by $60 billion over this period. This gross reduction of $60 billion would be offset in part by $15 billion in proposed new Medicaid-related initiatives, for a net reduction of $45 billion over ten years. These reductions would represent a relatively small percentage reduction in total federal funding for Medicaid and SCHIP, but their impact on states’ ability to provide health care coverage would be substantial.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Medicaid Budget Proposals Would Shift Costs To States And Be Likely To Cause Reductions In Health Coverage,” 2/18/05]

Bush’s Medicaid Proposal Shifts the Difficult Choices to the States. “Shifting [these] federal costs to states would have a negative impact on state Medicaid programs. States are unlikely to be able simply to absorb these costs. Instead, most states would have to choose among a set of difficult options: raising taxes, cutting funding for other priorities such as education, and cutting their Medicaid programs, including both eligibility and the medical services that Medicaid covers.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Medicaid Budget Proposals Would Shift Costs To States And Be Likely To Cause Reductions In Health Coverage,” 2/18/05]

Shifting the Medicaid Burden onto States Will Increase the Uninsured. “To the extent that states chose to deal with the costs shifted to them by the federal government by cutting Medicaid, as many states likely would do, the number of uninsured and underinsured Americans would be very likely to rise.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Medicaid Budget Proposals Would Shift Costs To States And Be Likely To Cause Reductions In Health Coverage,” 2/18/05]

Eliminates Over 1 Million Coverage Years for Seniors From 2006-2010. The Medicaid cuts would eliminate over 1 million coverage years for seniors from 2006-2010. A coverage year is the amount of funding that is required to cover a single senior over one year. [FamiliesUSA, “The President’s Budget Cuts: Loss of Medicaid Coverage-Years for Seniors,” 2/17/05] Eliminates Over 6 Million Coverage Years for Children From 2006-2010. The Medicaid cuts would eliminate over 6 million coverage years for children from 2006-2010. [FamiliesUSA, “The President’s Budget Cuts: Loss of Medicaid Coverage-Years for Seniors,” 2/17/05]

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