Opposing cuts to Medicaid in Committee Markup
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am deeply disappointed in the inaccurately named “Common Sense Savings Act,” which would yet again cut programs for people with limited incomes and vulnerable populations, seeking to balance the budget on the backs of those most in need.
The policies included in H.R. 4725 will increase the ranks of the uninsured and harm low-income families. The bill will cut Medicaid and children’s health programs by repealing a boost in the federal matching rate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and cruelly kick low-income kids out of the Medicaid program.
The enhanced match was maintained in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which was signed in to law last year after being voted for by an overwhelming majority of the House.
This marks another attack on the Affordable Care Act, and this time, at the expense of America’s children.
At the same time, the bill unduly restricting states’ ability to use health care provider taxes to help finance their Medicaid programs. Provider taxes are a critical source of revenue for every state except Alaska.
Restricting states’ decision to use this revenue stream will have serious consequences for low-income families, as states will be forced to cut Medicaid to offset the loss of funds and will likely be deterred from Medicaid expansion.
It yet again attempts to repeal the Prevention and Public health fund.
This short-sighted policy would significantly roll back funding for preventive health measures, such as child immunizations, programs to reduce tobacco use, and efforts to prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The fund provides $16.5 billion to improve preventive health, public health quality, and overall health outcomes.
Primarily through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it funds vital initiatives like those to strengthen state and local entities’ ability to respond to infectious diseases, prevent lead poisoning among children, and reduce racial disparities in health care access and health outcomes.
H.R. 4725 is a transparent effort to generate support for the fiscal year 2017 budget resolution on the House floor, and it is not worthy of our great committee.
We should be using this time to strengthen Medicaid and CHIP, and to advance efforts on prevention so we can meaningfully bend the health care cost curve and improve the overall health of the American people.
I am strongly opposed to the FCC setting rates for Internet broadband access. Government intrusion into how much a service should cost, particularly when there is a competitive and growing marketplace for broadband access, is not only unnecessary, but harmful to consumers and innovation.
This is why I am disappointed at the failure to find an agreement on the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act (H.R. 2666). There is bipartisan support for rate regulation legislation that will promote innovation and broadband deployment and ensure that our country continues to be the world leader in the digital economy.
I am hopeful that an agreement will be found before tomorrow morning that I can support. This issue is too important to fail over partisan bickering.
Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.