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Trump administration advances harmful changes to Medicaid program
January 31, 2020, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed outrage at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance encouraging states to block grant Medicaid funding. Jody Rabhan, NCJW Chief Policy Officer, released the following statement:
“For over 50 years, the Medicaid program has provided essential health insurance coverage to older adults, people with disabilities, children, families, and low-income adults. Congress designed the program to offer open-ended federal funding to the states to ensure that critical health care services for those most in need were covered, and to allow states to effectively respond to emergencies like natural disasters and disease epidemics.
“The new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance represents a massive dismantling of this important program and promises disastrous consequences for our health care system. Under the guidance, states can now apply for waivers to block grant Medicaid funding, thereby agreeing to fewer dollars from the federal government in exchange for not having to abide by federal patient protections and key program requirements, such as drug coverage. This will end Medicaid’s guarantee of coverage, putting the 74 million people who rely on the program at risk of losing access to health care as states seek to reduce costs by cutting services and restricting eligibility.
“People who are struggling to make ends meet or already facing multiple, intersecting barriers to accessing health care should not have to face yet another barrier to coverage. This includes women, who account for 63 percent of adult Medicaid enrollees; notably, the program is the nation’s largest payer of family planning care and covers nearly half of all babies born in the US.
“NCJW’s mission to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families include working towards high quality, affordable, accessible, and comprehensive health coverage for all. We are guided in this work by the Jewish value of b’tselem Elohim — each of us is made in G-d’s image, and as such, every person’s health is paramount and unassailable. NCJW will never back down from the fight to the basic human right of universal access to health care.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.