03/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 17:30
Washington, D.C. - With at least five states seeking federal waivers to implement lifetime limits on Medicaid patients, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to reject the proposals. Leading a letter that all twenty-three of his Democratic colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee signed, Kennedy raised concerns with the President's proposed Medicaid budget, as well as Secretary Azar's lack of knowledge about the waivers during recent Congressional testimony.
'Lifetime limits on Medicaid threaten to ration health care for millions of Americans,' said Congressman Kennedy. 'From addressing mental health and substance use disorder to maternity care and chronic disease, Medicaid keeps families across the country healthy and whole. By imposing lifetime limits on the program, the Trump Administration would double down on their message that health care is a privilege only for those who can afford it.'
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, 'To be clear, lifetime limits are outside the statutory authority of the Department to approve. The Department cannot justify cutting off benefits based on arbitrary time limits to people who qualify under the eligibility rules established by Congress.'
They continued, 'Lifetime limits or caps on coverage would be an unspeakably cruel attack on Americans struggling to make ends meet and who do not have access to the same affordable coverage that many Americans enjoy through their employer, which do not have lifetime limits on benefits because of the Affordable Care Act.'
To read the full letter, please click here.
For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2018
Emily Kaufman (617) 332-3333
Dan Black (202) 225-5931