Blackburn Demands Answers On Biden Administration’s Attack On State Medicaid Programs

November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) sent a letter requesting the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disclose the impact of President Biden’s federal overreach on state Medicaid programs through the Build Back Broke budget.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) joined Senator Blackburn on the letter demanding answers on the Biden administration’s blatant attack on the Medicaid programs in Tennessee, Texas, and Florida.
“In the Build Back Broke bill, Democrats have prioritized blue-state billionaires over sick children, people with disabilities, and the poor," said Senator Marsha Blackburn. "The sweeping federal overreach pushed by the Biden administration is a direct attempt to punish states like Tennessee providing personalized care for our vulnerable communities. The White House preaches the importance of empathy but is willing to strip care from Tennesseans to give their big-dollar donors tax breaks."
“The Build Back Socialist bill is going to hurt Florida hospitals, especially those that treat low-income residents and the uninsured,” Senator Marco Rubio said. “It is reckless and irresponsible to cut the health care of some of our most vulnerable, including children, to pay for tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers in New York and California.”
“For years, Tennessee has been a leader in managing health care costs. These proposed Medicaid cuts, which are another example of the Biden Administration’s overreach, would terminate innovation, raise costs, and reduce access to care—especially in rural areas. The federal government should be fostering transformative health care policy solutions, not forcing states into one-size-fits-all big-government programs that would devastate hospitals and decrease patient care. I will continue to work with Senator Blackburn, and our colleagues in Texas and Florida, to stand up for Tennesseans and fight against this Administration’s socialist agenda,” said Senator Bill Hagerty.
“Not only does Biden and Democrats’ multi-trillion dollar tax-and-spending spree package include huge SALT tax breaks for Democrats’ rich blue-state donors while raising taxes on American families and further fuel our nation’s inflation crisis - it also harshly punishes charity hospitals that provide care to those most in need. Buried deep within this massive proposal are devastating and vindictive cuts slashing 12.5% from Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments and reducing payments from states’ Uncompensated Care Pool programs, including my state of Florida, which means less funding for hospitals who care for low-income patients and those who are underserved and uninsured. That’s unacceptable. The American people and every member of Congress deserve to know the truth: this bill is horrible for American families and must be stopped,” said Senator Rick Scott.
View the letter here or below:
Dear Dr. Swagel:
Thank you for your work to produce budgetary and economic analysis of the proposed legislation, the Build Back Better Act.
While the final text of the bill is not available at the time of this letter, we write today to ask for additional economic analysis of the legislation, specifically a section of the Energy & Commerce title which changes Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment allotments as well as funding for Uncompensated Care Pools. This legislation would significantly affect states’ safety net programs and it is essential that each member of Congress have complete and full understanding of such a provision. In order to provide accurate information to our constituents who would be impacted by these punitive measures, we request your answers to the following questions:
1)      What is the impact of this legislation on state budgets?
2)      How would the DSH and Uncompensated Care Pool penalties impact coverage in the affected states?
3)      What is the impact of this legislation to access to care, including closures, at safety net hospitals, children’s hospitals, and rural hospitals?
4)      Does CBO believe that some individuals will have to go without care because of these DSH and Uncompensated Care Pool penalties?