Advocates Ramp Up Efforts To Protect Medicaid From 'Super Committee' Trims

State Medicaid directors as well as patient and consumer advocates are detailing the harms that would result from various Medicaid changes under discussion.

Politico Pro: Medicaid Directors Worry About Panel Cuts
State Medicaid directors are worried that two of the Obama administration's ideas for Medicaid cuts could become part of a super committee deficit deal — and leave the states to pick up the costs. They're nervous that the super committee will endorse the administration’s proposals to shift to a "blended" federal Medicaid matching rate and limit states' ability to draw down extra federal matching funds by taxing providers. In both cases, they say, the super committee wouldn't actually be cutting health care costs at all. It would just shift them to the states (Feder, 9/14).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicaid Advocates Ramp Up The Pressure On Super Committee To Avert Cuts
Advocates for low-income people with chronic illnesses said Wednesday they won't accept reductions to Medicaid as a new joint committee begins work on trimming at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over 10 years. They also frankly conceded that it would be better for the interests of Medicaid patients if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fails to come up with the required savings and a sequestration process kicks in, because the new budget enforcement law specifies that safety-net programs such as Medicaid wouldn't be affected (Norman, 9/14).

The Hill: Reports Detail State-By-State Impacts Of Proposed Medicaid Cuts
Cutting Medicaid could leave hundreds of thousands of people across the country facing life-threatening illnesses on their own, patient advocates said Wednesday. The advocacy group Families USA partnered with the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Lung Association to determine how many people with cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic lung disease depend on Medicaid. They released information on four major states — California, New York, Texas and Illinois — Wednesday, with more to come later. The reports come as the deficit super committee considers ways to shrink the deficit by $1.5 trillion, including massive cuts to health care entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid (Pecquet, 9/14).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Medicaid Advocates Seek Recognition Of Safety Net's Value
It's good news for Medicaid advocates that the program will be spared from cuts if the deficit reduction "super committee" is unsuccessful in its effort to squeeze about $1.5 trillion in savings from the federal budget. But failure to reach consensus on cuts is hardly an ideal scenario, according to an advocate for cancer patients (Barr, 9/14). 

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