Today Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Frank Pallone, Jr. released statements in support of letters sent by 18 governors in opposition to a Republican proposal that would transform Medicaid into a block grant program, threatening the program and shifting the costs and risks to states.
"The Ryan proposal to slash nearly a trillion dollars from Medicaid and turn the program into a block grant leaves states holding the bag for providing health care to their residents and turns our back on seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income parents and children who rely on Medicaid for their health care," said Rep. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "The Governors are right to forcefully speak out against this policy, which ends the commitment the federal government has had since we passed Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 to pay their fair share of the costs of meeting the needs for this vulnerable population."
"Converting Medicaid into block grants is one of the worst health care proposals to be presented to Congress in years," said Rep. Pallone, Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee. "It will do nothing to control costs, but it will lead to reduced funding and it will cede more responsibility to the states at a time when they are confronted with serious fiscal challenges. This is a bad prescription for the millions of Americans served by Medicaid and for the doctors and medical professionals who provide that care. Mandated block grants will inevitably lead to funding reductions, reduced payments to health care providers and worst of all, cuts in service to patients.
"Medicaid has been a successful and popular program that has effectively delivered medical care to seniors, the disabled and low income families for close to half a century," Rep. Pallone continued. "It is wrong to make the needy pay for the ideological political agenda of those who have never really supported programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security."