Governors' Medicaid Reform Plan "Unacceptable," Does Not Protect Health Care Guarantee for PWAs.
Statement of Christine Lubinski
Deputy Executive Director, AIDS Action Council
February 6, 1996
President Clinton today expressed support in comments delivered before the National Governors Association for a Medicaid reform plan that strays widely from his repeated promises to protect the guarantee to basic health care and life-saving drugs that Medicaid has come to represent to almost half of all Americans living with HIV/AIDS. While President Clinton expressed an interest in seeing the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the plan presented by a bipartisan group of Governors, he called the plan "a step in the right direction." AIDS Action, however, finds the Governors' Medicaid restructuring plan, a plan similar to the GOP "Medigrant" proposal vetoed by the President late last year, is a step in the wrong direction. This ill-conceived plan is unacceptable and raises five particular concerns for people living with HIV/AIDS:
A little over two months ago, the AIDS community breathed a collective sigh of relief as President Clinton vetoed a budget reconciliation bill that included devastating cuts and disruptive structural changes to the Medicaid program. The AIDS community applauded President Clinton's vow then to protect Medicaid and other vital federal AIDS programs from those who would balance the federal budget on the backs of this nation's most vulnerable citizens. Today, as he appears ready to take a step in the wrong direction, we urge the President to keep a promise he made to this country's most vulnerable citizens by rejecting any plan that puts at jeopardy the entitlement status of this vital health care program. Contrary to what President Clinton told this nation's Governors earlier today, the plan now on the negotiating table does not guarantee basic health care to this country's most vulnerable citizens, but instead is a prescription for disaster for which there can be no antidote.
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Founded in 1984, AIDS Action Council is the only national organization devoted solely to shaping federal AIDS policy and legislation, and to advocating for increased AIDS funding. AIDS Action represents more than 1,000 community-based AIDS service organizations throughout the United States.
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.