For Immediate Release
November 18, 2020
Modern Medicaid Alliance Partner Letter Urges Leaders in Congress to
Strengthen Medicaid Before End of Congressional Session
Washington, D.C. – In a letter to Congressional leaders, 40 Modern Medicaid Alliance partners called on Congress to strengthen America’s Medicaid program in pending COVID-19 relief legislation during the final weeks of the 116th Congress. According to the letter, “increased federal funding is urgently needed to continue delivering care and services that are critical to the growing number of Americans who rely on the Medicaid program.”
The letter, found here, implores Congressional leadership to “enhance federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to a total of at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association.” Further, it calls on Congress to “include dedicated funds for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS).”
Medicaid is the largest health care program in the country, covering 1 in 5 Americans, including millions of children, older adults, people with disabilities, and nearly 2 million veterans. Over the past 50 years, the program has played a critical role in helping Americans when they need it most and has acted as a safety net for vulnerable populations to receive high-quality, cost-effective care.
The number of Americans relying on Medicaid is growing at the same time that state revenues are dropping dramatically. Medicaid enrollment has increased by more than 4.3 million people, or 6.1% nationwide, with the fastest enrollment growth occurring among non-elderly, non-disabled adults. The Alliance’s letter goes on to say, “recent projections show that states expect Medicaid enrollment and spending to increase by more than 8% in the fiscal year of 2021, reinforcing that now is the time to strengthen this vital program.”
The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the importance of Medicaid as a critical safety net for at-risk populations. Without increased funding for Medicaid, hardworking Americans most at-risk could be denied access to the essential care they need and deserve. According to the letter, Medicaid enrollees such as children, older adults, those in need of mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities stand to face devastating consequences absent increased funding for the program.
Strong support for Medicaid is a bipartisan issue. As the letter details, recent polling found that 83% of voters think increasing funding for Medicaid amid COVID-19 should be a priority for Congress, including a bipartisan majority of Democrats (94%) and Republicans (73%).
The Modern Medicaid Alliance includes national and regional organizations that represent patients, consumers, health care workers, children, older adults, people with disabilities, pregnant and postpartum women, and health insurance providers. The Modern Medicaid Alliance is committed to working with Congress to ensure that together, we overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
About the Modern Medicaid Alliance: The Modern Medicaid Alliance is a partnership between Americans who value Medicaid and leading advocacy organizations. Our mission is to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of Medicaid to the American people in terms of cost savings, health outcomes and social impact, and to highlight how Medicaid is innovating in the delivery of care – especially for America’s most vulnerable citizens – and accountability of the program.