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Menendez: “It is time for the Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on the Medicaid program to end”

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, today joined Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and all Democratic members of the Committee in calling on the Trump administration “to end its harmful attacks on the Medicaid program, which provides essential health care to more than 70 million Americans.” The letter comes ahead of the committee’s hearing on the president’s budget.

“This Administration in coordination with your Department has taken every opportunity to try to gut Medicaid and put critical health coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans on the chopping block,” the senators wrote to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar. “It is time for the Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on the Medicaid program to end. The public has spoken loud and clear – Medicaid serves as a lifeline to millions of Americans and their loved ones, and they do not want to see it block granted, capped, or gutted.”

“Last month, the Trump administration announced new guidance for the Medicaid program that would hand states a playbook to implement block grants. In return for placing arbitrary funding caps on its Medicaid program, the state would get unprecedented authority to cut benefits and access to care, including prescription drugs, and further restrict coverage by charging unaffordable premiums and cost sharing, and implementing arbitrary paperwork requirements. This week, the Trump administration followed up to their illegal guidance with a budget that proposes to gut Medicaid by nearly $1 trillion, block grant and cap the program, and push their failed paperwork requirements on all states.”

“Such policies would lead to devastating cuts to Medicaid, jeopardizing affordable, comprehensive care for millions of Americans benefiting from the Medicaid expansion and endangering health care for millions more in including seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for nursing and home-based care, children and individuals with complex needs who depend on Medicaid to get the help they deserve to stay and thrive in their communities and at school, those suffering from opioid use disorders who count on Medicaid to get the treatment they so desperately need, and individuals impacted by public health emergencies in need of critical care.”

Joining Sens. Menendez and Wyden on the letter are Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.).

2.13.20 Azar Letter re Medicaid Cuts

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