Republicans in Congress are pushing for draconian cuts in federal spending on health care, including privatizing Medicare and cutting Medicaid by one-third. See what's being proposed and action you can take below. Also visit our Super Committee page for more resources, action you can take, and a link to the super committee website.
What You Should Know about What's Being Proposed
- Medicaid: Essential to America's Hospitals and Communities
provides state-level data highlighting how important hospitals are to
state residents at every stage of life, whether or not they are covered
by Medicaid. It also explains that hospitals are vital economic engines
and that federal Medicaid cuts could harm many communities. (February
Medicaid: A Lifeline for Blacks and Latinos with Serious Health Care Needs examines how essential Medicaid is for blacks and Latinos with cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, or heart disease or stroke. Cutting Medicaid would put them at risk. The Affordable Care Act will greatly help blacks and Latinos afford coverage. Released in partnership with seven other groups. (October 2011)
- To Build a Strong Affordable Care Act, Protect Medicaid explains that Medicaid is the foundation for health reform and briefly discusses the proposals that could damage Medicaid. Those working to implement health reform need to understand how threats to Medicaid could undermine their work. (September 2011)
- Medicaid, Deficit Reduction, and the “Super Committee” offers talking points on the importance of Medicaid and the costs that would result from cuts to the program. (August 2011)
- Debt Deal and Budget Timetable for 2011-2013 provides a comprehensive look at the deadlines in the budget process. (August 2011)
- Medicaid, the Budget, and Deficit Reduction: The Threat Continues explains the threat to Medicaid posed by the debt ceiling compromise and urges advocates to speak up about the importance of Medicaid and the dangers of cutting the program. (August 2011)
- Medicaid Really Does Matter—And Here's a Study Proving It presents talking points on a new study that unequivocally shows the positive value of Medicaid. (July 2011)
- Medicaid, the Budget, and Deficit Reduction: Keeping Score of the Threats discusses how advocates can fight proposals that would dismantle Medicaid, some of which could result from behind-closed-door budget talks. (Updated July 2011)
- Jobs at Risk: Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Harm State Economies provides state-level data that show the devastating impact the House Republican budget proposal would have. The proposal's substantial Medicaid cuts would harm program enrollees and their families and lead to a loss of business activity and jobs in all states. | Calculator (June 2011)
- Rhode Island's Medicaid Waiver: Why It's Not a Model for Your State refutes conservative claims that Rhode Island's waiver is proof that block grants could work for Medicaid. (May 2011)
- Health Hazard: How the House Republican Budget Resolution Would Dramatically Change Medicare looks at the impact of the proposal, which would turn Medicare into a voucher program, re-open the "doughnut hole," and raise the eligibility age for Medicare. (May 2011)
- Cutting Medicaid: Harming Seniors and People with Disabilities Who Need Long-Term Care assesses the human impact of proposed Medicaid cuts on those who need long-term care, as well as their families. It provides state-specific numbers on how many people would be affected by cuts, as well as on how the cuts would hurt families and state workers. | State Reports
- House Republicans Propose to Slash Funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and Other Health Coverage Programs takes a closer look at how the recent budget proposal would harm seniors, children, and state economies, including state-specific numbers.
- Families USA’s Press Release regarding Rep. Ryan’s proposal.
- What the House Budget Resolution Means for America's Seniors and People with Disabilities is a Q & A on the possible consequences of the House budget resolution for two groups that would be disproportionately affected by Medicare and Medicaid cuts.
- Use our Medicaid Calculator to calculate the impact of Medicaid cuts on your state’s economy.
- More than 100 national health care groups have signed on to a letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose harmful proposals to cut Medicaid. According to the letter, "These cost-shifting proposals have little or nothing to do with containing health care spending. Rather, they simply shift the risk to states as health costs go up--and subsequently move the burden onto the shoulders of those who are least able to bear it." (May 4, 2011)
- Hundreds of economists, doctors, and health policy academics have signed on to a letter to Rep. John Boehner and other congressional leaders, opposing Medicaid cuts and a Medicaid block grant: “. . . block granting Medicaid is both unfair and unwise. During economic downturns it would expose states to the full costs of increasing enrollments just when their revenues are falling." The letter concludes, “The only effective and equitable way to curb total health care spending, and the only way to address the fiscal burdens of that care, is to support systemic health reform. The best current hope for doing so is the Affordable Care Act, which should be implemented with vigor.”
- Center for Medicare Advocacy: Why Medicaid Matters to Medicare Beneficiaries and Their Families
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Proposed Cap on Federal Spending Would Force Deep Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: What if Ryan's Medicaid Block Grant Had Taken Effect in 2000? Federal Medicaid Funds Would Have Fallen over 25% in Most States, Over 40% in Some, by 2009
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities—Off the Charts Blog: Ryan’s Rx for Medicaid Means Millions More Uninsured or Underinsured Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Children
- Democratic governors from 16 states, and a 17th from the Virgin Islands, sent a letter to congressional leaders critiquing the Republican budget proposal to block-grant Medicaid.
- Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) sign-on letter
- Think Progress—Wonk Room Blog: The Seven Ways in Which Paul Ryan’s Budget Would Undermine Medicare and Medicaid
1. Call your U.S. Senator and Representative: 1-888-876-6242
Talking Points: Reducing the Deficit and Protecting Medicaid
• We must not decimate crucial programs—like Medicaid—that seniors, people with disabilities, children, and their families depend on.
• Backdoor mechanisms such as caps and triggers can be just as harmful as the deep cuts that Representative Ryan proposed to Medicaid, unless this program is exempted from automatic cuts.
• It’s important to bring down the deficit, but the approach must be fair and balanced, with both spending cuts and revenue increases.
2. Send an email to Congress to protect children’s access to quality, affordable health care through Medicaid and CHIP.
3. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper explaining what’s at stake.
4. Reach out to providers and disease groups in your state to make sure they’re aware of the threat.