WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after the House of Representatives passed the 'Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act' (H.R. 5613). This legislation would place a moratorium until March 2009 on seven Medicaid regulations imposed by the Bush Administration:
“It is absolutely outrageous that, with seven million more Americans being added to the rolls of the uninsured since President Bush took office, this Administration is actually trying to impose changes to Medicaid regulations that could affect the ability of millions of indigent Americans from receiving the health care they need and deserve. With 47 million uninsured Americans today, it is incomprehensible that the Administration would take action to limit health care services to even more citizens.
“If the Administration’s regulatory changes are implemented, they would cut Medicaid funding to states for critical programs by as much as $18 billion over the next five years. It’s no wonder that such a broad spectrum of groups – including the National Governors Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and AARP – supports this bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Dingell to place a moratorium on the Administration’s regulatory changes.
“I am very pleased that this legislation passed with broad bipartisan support, and I hope the Senate takes up the bill as soon as possible. By imposing this moratorium, the bill protects states, beneficiaries, and providers from the harmful regulatory changes that would undermine the Medicaid safety net and imperil critical services for our most vulnerable citizens. At a time when the economy is significantly slowing down, it makes no sense to implement changes that compromise a program serving those families who are most in need.”