Committee Leaders Concerned About Health Law’s Impact on Medicaid, Services to Nation’s Most Vulnerable

December 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders yesterday sent letters to the Medicaid Directors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia regarding the status of their Medicaid programs and their current ability to care for their most vulnerable populations. The health care law’s expansion of the Medicaid program will add as many as 26 million Americans to the program, adding further strain to the program. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) write, “As scarce resources become even further divided, the most vulnerable Americans could face a significant delay in accessing key services and treatments.”

“The president’s health care law has delivered little more than broken promises and the threat it poses to the nation’s most vulnerable cannot be tolerated,” said Pitts. “To date, Obamacare has left more Americans without health care than with new coverage. We’re now seeing that the changes to the Medicaid program will leave more patients without access to care than with it. The president may claim his law is a success for the Medicaid program, but giving Americans coverage without adequate access to doctors is a failure.”

“Implementation of the health care law has been a mess across the board, and sadly, the situation will only get worse,” added Murphy. “Patients are already sitting on waiting lists for access to care with many struggling to find a provider that will see them. We are committed to ensuring that in the coming months and years, states are able to deliver care to our most vulnerable citizens.”

In the letter, the leaders detail the challenges Medicaid patients currently face finding access to care adding that, “according to 2011 data from the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute, nearly all states had a waiting list for certain Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Similar data from the Kaiser Family Foundation notes that of those waiting for services, more than 35,000 were children, more than 150,000 were aged individuals or had physical disabilities, and nearly 320,000 had intellectual or developmental disabilities.” 

Read the letter online here.

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