Schakowsky Votes to Protect Medicaid from Caps and Cuts

February 7, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –  This week, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, voted YES on H. Res. 826, a resolution expressing disapproval of the Trump Administration's harmful actions toward Medicaid.  Last week, the Trump Administration unveiled its illegal Medicaid block grant plan, inviting states to cap and slash Medicaid.  The plan would essentially allow states to receive a waiver to block grant their Medicaid programs for certain low-income Medicaid recipients.

The Administration’s Medicaid block grant plan undermines crucial protections of the Medicaid program and gives states broad authority to scale back important beneficiary protections, restrict eligibility standards and limit access to prescription drugs.  The effect would be to push Medicaid recipients off lifesaving medicines, impose unaffordable premiums to maintain coverage and leave more vulnerable families exposed to catastrophic medical bills – with ruinous and even fatal consequences for the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Resolution of Disapproval affirms the sense of the House of Representatives that:

•          The illegal actions taken by the Trump Administration to undermine the Medicaid program, including beneficiary protections, are a cruel attack on a program that provides for the health and well-being for some of our most vulnerable citizens;

•          The Trump Administration should immediately withdraw its illegal block grant guidance and cease its campaign to undermine and weaken Medicaid; and

•          The Trump Administration should uphold its responsibility to faithfully execute the law, including the Medicaid Act, and cease any and all efforts that threaten the care of the millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid.

 

Below are Congresswoman Schakowsky’s remarks on the resolution as delivered on the House floor: 

“M. Speaker, I rise to condemn the Trump Administration’s cuts to Medicaid as yet another broken promise from this President.

“On May 7, 2015, then-Candidate Trump tweeted: ‘I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.’

“He even said that these programs were a part of what makes America great.

“Well, Mr. President—you were right: Medicaid is a pillar of our society.

“3.26 million people in my home state of Illinois receive their health care through Medicaid.

“Since Illinois expanded Medicaid in 2013, our uninsured rate has been nearly cut in half.

“One study found that expanding Medicaid coverage reduced mortality by 6 percent.

“40 percent of kids in my state can see a doctor when they are sick and get the vaccinations and screenings they need to stay healthy only because of Medicaid.

“Over 275,000 of Illinois’ seniors and almost 400,000 people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to live independently, including nursing home care and services that help them live at home.

“In fact, Medicaid pays for over half of all long-term services and supports cross the United States.

“Despite all this, the Administration is gutting Medicaid funding and allowing states to cut benefits.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in voting YES on this resolution.

“Medicaid matters, and we will protect your care.

“I yield back.”

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