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ADA, Partnership for Medicaid ask Senate to remain committed to Medicaid

May 24, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — As the U.S. Senate considers health care reform legislation, the Partnership for Medicaid is encouraging legislators to focus on ways to enhance and improve the Medicaid program.

In a May 23 letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chair, Senate Finance Committee, the partnership urged members of Congress to continue supporting Medicaid, noting the program serves as a "lifeline of support for millions of Americans." The coalition also noted that Medicaid currently serves more than 70 million low-income individuals, including children, pregnant women and seniors by providing them access to necessary health services, including dental care.   

"We are united in our concern over policy proposals that represent a significant shift in the cost of the Medicaid program to states, local governments, providers and beneficiaries," wrote the Partnership for Medicaid, a nonpartisan, nationwide coalition comprising organizations representing doctors, health care providers, safety net health plans, counties and labor. "We urge the Senate to ensure that future financing of Medicaid-covered services is sufficient to secure timely access to high quality, necessary care for Medicaid enrollees."

The coalition said it believes that any changes to the Medicaid program must align with "our core principles, which are intended to ensure a strong safety net program in place for our most vulnerable citizens."

The coalition urged Congress to consider proposals to develop a national Medicaid quality data reporting system.

"A uniform, state-level reporting mechanism for the Medicaid program would ensure program efficiency and would provide a national perspective that could create a pathway for innovation," the coalition said. "The Partnership also supports the improvement of program eligibility pathways."

The coalition also asked legislators to take advantage of the Senate's regular order by bringing any health care bills through the Finance Committee for open, bipartisan committee hearings and mark-up.

"As Congress looks to reform the U.S. health system, the members of the Partnership urge congressional leaders to take the time needed to develop and enact effective policies that ensure coverage and access to affordable care for all Americans," the coalition concluded.

For more information about the Partnership for Medicaid, visit the website.