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Public Statements

Letter to Colleague


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Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, released new analyses detailing the impact of the Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals on each congressional district.

Below is the full text of the letter sent by Reps. Waxman and Pallone to their colleagues to assist them in understanding the ramifications of the Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals.

June 3, 2011

Dear Colleague:

The Republican's budget would end Medicare as we know it. It also slashes Medicaid programs that cover millions of seniors in nursing homes and provide basic coverage for tens of millions of children. These Republican proposals would have a devastating impact on every congressional district in the country for generations to come.

The Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it, raises costs for seniors and individuals with disabilities, reduces their benefits, and puts private insurance companies in charge of seniors' health care. For current beneficiaries, important benefits -- such as closing the hole in Medicare's drug coverage -- would be immediately eliminated. For individuals age 54 and under, Medicare's longstanding guarantee of comprehensive coverage would be replaced with an inadequate federal subsidy to buy private health insurance. By design, this federal contribution will not keep pace with medical costs, shifting thousands of dollars in costs onto individuals.

Similarly, the Republican Medicaid plan eliminates Medicaid's guarantee of coverage. Medicaid would be turned into a block grant, and the federal contribution to Medicaid would be slashed by nearly $800 billion over the next decade. Other changes proposed by House Republicans would allow states to eliminate coverage for seniors, nursing home care, individuals with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and others currently enrolled in Medicaid. These changes would have a profound impact on Medicaid's ability to provide health coverage to millions of Americans, and will shift tens of billions of dollars in costs to state taxpayers.

To assist members in understanding the ramifications of these policies, we asked the Democratic staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to analyze the impacts of the Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals in every congressional district in the country.

Today, we are releasing these analyses, which can be found online here. The reports for your district will explain in detail the impacts of Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals on your constituents. We hope this information is useful to you and your constituents as you consider these policies.

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce

Frank Pallone, Jr.
Committee on Energy and Commerce

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