House Passes Democratic Motion to Protect Medicaid
April 28, 2005
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a Democratic motion to protect Medicaid from budget cuts. The motion instructed budget conferees to strike reconciliation instructions that target Medicaid for funding cuts and instead include a reserve fund providing for a bipartisan Medicaid Commission.
U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), the lead Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said, “Today’s vote is a victory for 58 million Americans who depend on Medicaid for basic health care services. This vote puts a majority of the House clearly on record as opposing Medicaid cuts. It is up to the Republican leadership to produce a conference report that abides by the will of the House.”
A majority in the Senate also oppose Medicaid cuts, with 52 Senators, including every Democrat and seven Republicans, voting to strike Medicaid cuts in the Senate budget resolution and instead allow for the creation of a bipartisan Medicaid Commission.
Spratt pointed out that Medicaid cuts proposed by the President and House Republicans would not go to reducing the deficit, but to partly offsetting additional tax cuts that Republicans are pushing.
Medicaid is the nation's public health insurance program for low-income Americans, financing health and long-term care services for more than 58 million people, including 28 million low-income children, nearly 16 million parents, and 15 million elderly and disabled individuals. The Medicaid cuts in the President’s budget, and in the House Republican budget, will shift costs to the states, beneficiaries, or health care providers.
“This motion clearly directs conferees to strike cuts to Medicaid from the conference agreement,” Spratt said. “Any budget agreement that contains cuts to Medicaid would run contrary to the will of the House, even a compromise that creates a bipartisan Medicaid commission but still includes cuts.”