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Wilson letter on Medicaid

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Wilson letter on Medicaid
4/13/2005

Wilson Urges Creation of Bipartisan Medicaid Commission

Rep. Heather Wilson's letter calling for Medicaid funding and creation of a bipartisan Medicaid Commission is available in a PDF file through this highlighted link: Wilson's letter.

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Heather Wilson today sent a letter signed by 44 House Republicans to House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle urging the reinstatement of $20 billion to the Medicaid program and $1.5 million to create a bipartisan Medicaid Commission.

Wilson, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is the lead sponsor of H.R. 985, a bill which would create a bipartisan Medicaid Commission and has 170 cosponsors. She chaired the House Medicaid Task Force in the 108th Congress, and believes that policy should drive the budget, instead of the budget driving policy.
<http://www.state.nm.us/hsd/mad.html>
The letter states: "We are concerned that the inclusion of up to $20 billion in reductions from projected growth in the Medicaid program included in the House-passed FY06 Budget Resolution will negatively impact people who depend on the program and the providers who deliver health care to them while not putting us on the path to comprehensive reform and improvement that the program needs."

Wilson notes that as the largest health care program in the country, Medicaid serves over 50 million people. Her letter states that a bipartisan commission will serve as a credible forum for an honest, open discussion.

Text of letter to Chairman Nussle:

We are concerned that the inclusion of up to $20 billion in reductions from projected growth in the Medicaid program included in the House-passed FY06 Budget Resolution will negatively impact people who depend on the program and the providers who deliver health care to them while not putting us on the path to comprehensive reform and improvement that the program needs.

Therefore, we strongly urge you to remove these reductions and the reconciliation instructions targeted at Medicaid, and, in their place, include a $1.5 million reserve fund for the creation of a bipartisan Medicaid Commission in the final conference agreement for the FY06 Budget.

As detailed in H.R. 985, a Commission would serve as a credible forum for an honest, open discussion and the development of comprehensive recommendations on how we can reform the Medicaid program. The Commission would be the right setting at the right time to carefully deliberate and recommend solutions to improve the health of low-income Americans and put the program - one of the most complicated federal programs we oversee - on a stronger financial and management footing.

Medicaid is the largest health care program in the country, serving over 50 million people including more than one in four children and 6.4 million "dual eligibles" enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. As lawmakers, we know that any changes made to this program will have consequences for these individuals. We also know that health care is expensive and that our federal health care programs should get value for the money we spend, improve the health of people who depend upon them, and be accountable for results. We therefore believe that policy should drive the budget and not the budget drive policy.

Accordingly, we strongly urge you to remove the reductions and reconciliation instructions targeted at Medicaid, and instead include a reserve fund for the creation of a bipartisan Medicaid Commission. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to address our concerns.

http://wilson.house.gov/NewsAction.asp?FormMode=Releases

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