Washington, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) led fellow Arizona Democrats Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) in urging Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell to reject proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid program included in its 1115 Medicaid renewal waiver. The lawmakers’ statement was submitted as part of the public comment period for the proposed changes, which remains open to all Arizonans to voice their concerns until December 6th.
Their comments read, in part:
Lawmakers released the following statements:
“There is no excuse for denying the most vulnerable Arizonans the dignity and security of health coverage,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva said. “The changes proposed by the State put hundreds of thousands of Arizonans at risk and the taxpayers at-large back on the tab to cover emergency costs for the uninsured. Governor Brewer learned the lesson the hard way when her Medicaid cuts wreaked havoc on the state economy. The State should learn from past mistakes – not repeat them.”
“The proposed changes would have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans in need and will make it more difficult for low income families and veterans to qualify for Medicaid,” Rep. Ruben Gallego said. “These changes undermine and go against the goals and protections of the Affordable Care Act, and I trust that Secretary Burwell will reject these changes.”
“Arizona’s proposed Medicaid changes would be a huge step backwards,” Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick said. “Medicaid is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of low-income Arizonans, and this proposal is a direct threat to their coverage and access to health care services.”
The full text of the lawmakers’ public comment is available here.
Arizonans interested in submitting their own public comment on the proposed changes to Medicaid can do so here.