May 02,2019

Wyden, Pallone Tell Trump Administration not to Weaken Medicaid Protections

In Letter to Seema Verma, Top Health Care Democrats Call on CMS to Maintain Standards that Help Vulnerable Americans

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., called on the Trump administration to maintain protections for access to care in Medicaid. Their request follows guidance and proposed rule changes from the Trump administration weakening protections and making it more difficult for vulnerable Americans in the program to access health care.

“We are concerned that steps taken by CMS over the past year and a half undermine the important safeguards [in Medicaid],” Wyden and Pallone wrote. “Robust enforcement and oversight of Medicaid’s access provisions and related protections is critically important. We therefore urge CMS to renew its commitment to ensuring access and take the necessary steps to ensure all beneficiaries have access to the care that they need and deserve.” 

The letter, sent to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, comes as the agency has taken numerous steps that would weaken beneficiary access protections and reduce state accountability. CMS has issued guidance and proposed rule changes that would exempt certain states from oversight requirements and eliminate standards meant to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries have access to a sufficient network of providers in addition to other important protections.

The full letter can be found here.