Senator Jay Rockefeller today applauded the Children's Hospital Association for urging Congress to avoid Medicaid cuts in budget negotiations.
The Children's Hospital Association sent letters this week to President Obama, and House and Senate leadership urging them to protect Medicaid from harmful cuts that could impact access to care for the millions of struggling Americans who rely on it, including 438,000 West Virginians.
"Medicaid is a lifeline for our nation's most vulnerable families and children. We must not turn our backs on them. We have tough budget decisions to make, and it's essential that we find a real compromise solution. That solution should include asking the wealthiest to pay a little more, and not further burden struggling families -- especially when it comes to their health care," said Rockefeller. "The Children's Hospital Association's letters reinforce what I have continued to say -- that we must protect Medicaid from devastating cuts.
"Our kids need the tools to succeed -- that includes making sure they grow up healthy. With more than half of West Virginia children enrolled in Medicaid, we must make sure this program remains strong for our kids. And not only does Medicaid provide essential health care for so many West Virginia children, but it also helps lift families in need out of poverty, is the primary resource for long-term care for the elderly, and is a serious job creator across the country. I will stop at nothing to protect this lifeline and the crucial care it provides."
Rockefeller has been a staunch supporter of Medicaid and is a national leader in the fight to protect it. Currently, 23 percent of all West Virginians are enrolled in Medicaid.