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Democratic Health Leaders Urge Reversal After Trump Admin Approves Illegal Georgia Waivers That Threaten Families' Health Care

Nov 13, 2020
Press Release
Actions that Undermine ACA and Medicaid Will Make Health Care Harder to Access for Georgians

House and Senate Democratic health care leaders called on the Trump administration to reverse its recent approval of Georgia waivers that would make health care less accessible in the state. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., sent the letter as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen and access to affordable health care is more critical than ever.

“These waiver approvals are illegal, reckless, and outrageous, and we urge you to rescind them immediately before they make it harder for families to get the care they need,” the members wrote. “Under these waivers, the Trump Administration is allowing Georgia to impose burdensome and illegal work requirements and premiums on beneficiaries in its Medicaid program and to eliminate Healthcare.gov in the state, gutting access to critical sources of affordable and comprehensive health coverage during an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Instead of safeguarding access to health care, the Administration has chosen to wage an ideological crusade against Medicaid and the ACA, regardless of the consequences for American families. ” 

The letter, sent to Trump administration officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Treasury Department, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), outlines how these waivers would be harmful to residents of the state, violate federal statute and compound challenges facing states across the country as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Beyond imposing these severe harms on Georgia families, both waivers are blatant violations of federal law,” the members continued in the letter. “The Administration appears to have simply ignored these clear statutory protections in an attempt to undermine the ACA.”

The full letter can be found here.

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