Florida Democratic Congressional Delegation helps to defeat proposed Medicaid cuts that would have put 4 million Floridians at risk of losing health care

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) released the following statement on House passage of H.Res. 826, a resolution disapproving of the President’s harmful actions towards Medicaid through establishing a block grant plan that would allow states to slash costs by stripping millions of seniors and those with low-income or disabilities of their Medicaid. Under the President’s proposal, states would have wide latitude to restrict coverage and limit access to prescription drugs for people on Medicaid, putting 4 million Floridians at risk. The resolution, which passed by a vote of 223-190, is just the administration’s latest attempt to strip vulnerable, working-class Americans of their medical coverage.

“President Trump promised the American people he would not cut Medicaid. Yet, his Administration’s relentless attack on the health care of my constituents carries on. The People’s House took decisive action today to protect Medicaid and help President Trump keep his promise,” said Rep. Crist. “Medicaid is the most cost effective health plan in America. The Administration’s use of words like ‘flexibility,’ ‘fiscal responsibility,’ and ‘choice,’ mask the real goal. A Medicaid block grant is a Medicaid cut. That means cutting health care for the most vulnerable in our country: seniors, children, low-income people, and people with disabilities. It’s unacceptable.”

The states would ask for and receive a waiver from the Trump administration, federal expenditures for certain groups — mainly the population receiving coverage through the ACA expansion — would be capped at current levels, subject to adjustments for inflation or for new enrollment. The federal government wouldn’t pay a dime for medical expenses over the cap.

In exchange, states will gain “flexibility” — meaning the freedom to restrict access to the program. Under the Trump administration’s proposal, the flexibility would only affect adults under 65 who aren’t disabled. States could ask those people to shoulder more financial costs, limit their access to prescription medications and even adopt restrictive new eligibility rules.

States could also sidestep federal regulations designed to guarantee that Medicaid beneficiaries can access medically needed care. As matters stand, those regulations prevent states from cutting their payment rates to the degree that no doctors will see Medicaid patients. Now, however, the Trump administration is telling states they can write their own oversight rules