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Pascrell Blasts Cuts to Medicaid

Location: Washington, DC

November 3, 2005


WASHINGTON-U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) introduced legislation in response to the ten year $14 billion cut in Medicaid that the Senate approved today. Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider a Medicaid cut of $48 billion over the next ten years. Pascrell's bill H.R. 4223, the Medicaid Preservation Act of 2005, puts a moratorium on these reckless Medicaid cuts.

"I introduced this legislation to put a stop gap between fiscally irresponsible politicians in Washington and the hard pressed people who repeatedly suffer at the hands of the President's misplaced economic priorities."

"America's failure to serve our poor was fully exposed when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast. Instead of addressing the poverty that haunted our televisions, the Bush Administration used it as an excuse to revisit the federal budget and cut the healthcare safety net for low-income seniors, children, and the disabled."

Medicaid cuts will affect the 982,676 people enrolled in New Jersey, and 51,552,491 Americans who rely on it for the health care. The cut will force low-income people to pay premiums and copayments that they cannot afford.

"Cutting services to those who need them most, our young and weak, old and infirm, is no way to shave the deficit that reckless spenders in Washington created five years ago. It is a way for the Bush Administration to subsidize the tax breaks being issued to the richest of the rich."

Pascrell's legislation, H.R. 4223, the Medicaid Preservation Act, establishes a Bipartisan Commission on Medicaid to review the Medicaid program so that recipients receive quality healthcare. The legislation puts a moratorium on cuts in federal funding to Medicaid until full consideration is given to the recommendations of the Commission.

The Commission will consist of public health and Medicaid specialists:
One member appointed by the President
Two House of Representatives Members appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader
Two Senators appointed by the Majority and Minority Leader
Two Governors designated by the National Governors Association
Two Legislators designated by The National Conference of State Legislators
Two State Medicaid Directors designated by National Association of State Medicaid Directors
Two local elected official appointed by Comptroller General
Four consumer advocates appointed by Congressional Leadership
Two Program experts appointed by Comptroller General

The Commission will have one year to hold public hearings, conduct its evaluation, and deliberations, and issue its report and recommendations to the President, Congress, and the public.

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