07.14.09

Democrats Reject Effort to Assist Medicaid Patients

Washington, D.C. – Despite evidence that Medicaid beneficiaries have poorer health than other Americans and have difficulty getting the care they need because many doctors do not accept Medicaid patients, Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today rejected an effort to provide Medicaid patients with new options for quality health insurance.

“Although Democrats keep saying they want to give people options to compete between private plans and government plans, they voted today to deny that right to low-income patients in some of the worst health care programs in the country,” said Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee.

“Millions of Medicaid patients are trapped in a second-tier health care program where they can’t see the doctors of their choice or get the care they need, and we need to give them more options to find high quality health insurance plans that meet their needs.”

Enzi offered an amendment to HELP Committee Democrats’ health care bill that would allow Medicaid patients to opt out of Medicaid and give them a subsidy to enroll in a qualified health plan. The Democrats’ bill allows patients on the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) to opt into qualified health insurance plans, but does not open this door for Medicaid patients.

Democrats rejected the Enzi amendment on party lines.

####

Press Contact

Craig Orfield 202-224-6770