Washington, DC – Today, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, and Joan Alker with the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy joined Protect Our Care for a press conference to discuss Republicans’ radical plan to take health care away from millions of Americans. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy released the Republican plan to slash health care funding and Medicaid enrollment by imposing burdensome paperwork requirements. Read more about how Republicans are demanding health care cuts here.
A record 92 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid, which provides affordable care to people from all backgrounds. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are working tirelessly to protect Medicaid from GOP attacks and strengthen the program to ensure everyone has the health care they need. April marks the 5th annual Medicaid Awareness Month.
“The fact is Americans working in modestly-paid jobs often aren’t given affordable health care coverage by their employers,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). “Sometimes they’re working two or three part-time jobs. What House Republicans are essentially asking of these people, who are already on an economic tightrope, is to go out and fill out a mountain of paperwork every single month to maintain their health care. We ought to be looking at approaches that help people get more for their health care dollar.”
“Speaker McCarthy’s proposal is the demand for a ransom payment to wealthy donors and big corporations taken straight from the pockets of hard-working Americans,” said U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06). “This extreme ransom demand represents everything Democrats have been sounding the alarm about: cuts to the social safety net programs, burdensome Medicaid paperwork requirements, a repeal of President Biden’s student loan relief plan, the reversal of middle class tax credits enacted through the Inflation Reduction Act, and much more. Medicaid is designed to ensure that Americans who are low-income and people living with disabilities have access to life-saving health care. Implementing unnecessary and burdensome paperwork requirements will result in just another way of kicking hard-working Americans and their families off of health insurance.”
“These provisions are a radical attempt to cut federal funds for Medicaid and will cause millions of people to lose their coverage, not because they’re not working, but because they fail to jump over a whole new raft of bureaucratic hurdles,” said Joan Alker, Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families, Research Professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy. “The Speaker’s bill has it backwards: having Medicaid actually supports people’s ability to work when they can get their health conditions addressed; taking their Medicaid away will only make it harder for them to work. One thing is for sure, though, if these provisions are enacted, people will lose their health insurance and any savings that accrue from this proposal will result from exactly that – people losing their health insurance.”
“Kevin McCarthy has made clear that Republicans want to hold the U.S. economy hostage in order to cut health care for millions of Americans,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The work reporting requirements proposal alone is unprecedented – applying the requirements to all of the 90 million beneficiaries, many of whom have a disability, are in a caregiver role, or have other needs that leave them unable to work. This plan opens the door for states to throw people off the rolls because they cannot keep up with the paperwork. If Republicans cared about working families, they would throw out this reckless plan and prioritize lowering health care costs, not gutting the programs that people need to stay healthy and thrive.”