January 18, 2008
Leaders in Congress are currently negotiating a bill intended to stimulate the nation's economy. Among the many proposals being discussed is one that would provide states with a temporary increase in the percentage of matching federal funds for their Medicaid programs. 55% of people with AIDS, 44% of people with HIV, and 90% of children with HIV/AIDS rely on Medicaid for their health care and treatment.
State revenues are declining across the country, forcing many states to consider Medicaid cuts. These cuts hurt people with HIV/AIDS who could lose access to Medicaid or have their services reduced. They would also add to pressure on AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and other Ryan White services. One option to help states is to temporarily increase the federal share of Medicaid costs linked to requirements to prevent states from reducing eligibility or services. The last time the economy slowed down, in 2003-2004, Congress gave increased federal support for Medicaid and it protected coverage for one million Americans at a time when many states were cutting back on health care services and eligibility.
Any economic stimulus package should contain proposals that protect health care for the nation's most vulnerable people. Please call your elected representatives now and urge them to support increased Medicaid funding!
Call your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators in their Washington, DC office. Tell whoever answers the phone:
You urge the Representative/Senator to support a proposal in the economic stimulus bill that would give states a temporary increase in matching federal funds for their Medicaid programs.
This would help states maintain Medicaid eligibility and benefits during this challenging economic time.
This is a very important issue for people with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations.
Please tell leaders in Congress to ensure this provision is in the final stimulus bill.
You can call your Representative and Senators toll-free at 1-800-965-4298. You will get the Capitol Switchboard. If you don't know who your Representative/Senators are, go to www.congress.org and enter your zip code in the upper left corner.