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AARP Denounces Bush Medicaid Plan

  • February 18th, 2003

AARP has announced its opposition to the Bush administration's Medicaid plan, charging that the plan will reduce or eliminate future care for needy beneficiaries.

In late January, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the administration's proposal to give the states Medicaid relief, but only if they agree to a new scheme that would eliminate federal rules that currently govern the care of millions of Medicaid beneficiaries. States that accept the new scheme would receive a pot of money'”or "block grant," as some call it--to use as they wish, without any federal oversight. Advocates for older Americans charge that millions of frail elderly and disabled individuals who would qualify for Medicaid coverage under the current system could fail to qualify under the Bush administration''s proposal, and that states would ultimately be left with less money to operate their Medicaid programs. See ElderLawAnswers news article, "Bush Proposes to Give States More Control Over Medicaid" and "Bush Medicaid Plan Threatens Coverage for Millions of Elderly."

"This proposal handcuffs states because it leaves people more vulnerable in future years as states struggle to meet increased needs with decreased dollars," said AARP Executive Director and CEO Bill Novelli.

Instead, AARP is calling on President Bush and Congress to provide unconditional relief to the states for their Medicaid programs. "States need temporary assistance to help maintain health coverage in the current economic climate, not permanent changes that will reduce or eliminate future care," said Movelli. "Congress should provide a temporary increase in the rate at which federal government matches state Medicaid spending."

Read the entire AARP news release by clicking on: http://www.aarp.org/press/2003/nr021303.html

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Last Modified: 02/18/2003

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