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Pallone Assails Bush Administration for Proposal to End Medicaid Flexibility


Location: Long Branch, NJ


U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, issued the following statement today in response to the Bush administration's decision to apply the same restrictions on Medicaid as they implemented last August with the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Like the SCHIP directive, states would be required to enroll at least 95 percent of the children in the state below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FLP) before providing health coverage to certain populations of low-income children under Medicaid.

"It is not surprising that the Bush administration is once again attempting to limit healthcare access to vulnerable populations in states like New Jersey. Last year, they targeted SCHIP, and now it is Medicaid.

"For six years, President Bush had no problem giving states the flexibility we all know they need to reach both children and families who do not have health insurance, but that all changed last year. At a time when states are aggressively working to ensure that their most vulnerable populations have access to health coverage, the Bush administration should not be imposing harmful and unattainable conditions that make it impossible for states to reach more people.

"Congress simply cannot allow the Bush administration to move ahead with this harmful proposal, and I am committed to preventing it from becoming a reality."

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