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November 6th, 2015
Grijalva Applauds Extension of Public Comment Period on Dangerous Medicaid Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today after the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed to his office that they will extend the November 16, 2015 deadline to submit comments on Arizona’s Medicaid waiver renewal application. The application seeks several amendments to the program, including lifetime limits on enrollment, work requirements, additional copayments and premium increases. CMS has not provided a new deadline or reason for extension.

“Arizona’s Medicaid application would undo much of the gains from the last two years, impeding access to health care once again for Arizonans,” Rep. Grijalva said. “We know all too well that placing hurdles between people and the care they need can have tragic consequences. It is unconscionable for the state to submit this waiver request that so blatantly targets low income people in Arizona. And with a matter that is truly life or death, it is just as unconscionable not to provide the public with a transparent process that allows them to fully understand the extent of this drastic request.

“I applaud CMS’s willingness to improve this process by extending the public comment period.  This is critically needed given the fact the State formed this proposal behind closed doors, did not allow the public to see the full application before it was submitted, and did not conduct proper consultation with our tribal communities.

“I look forward to working with CMS to ensure that hundreds of thousands of Arizonans are not once again left in the cold when it comes health coverage.  We have been down this road before and we know all too well the economic and moral consequences of dismantling our Medicaid program.”

CMS also confirmed that they will allow for modifications or updates to comments that have already been submitted.

To submit a public comment on Arizona’s Medicaid waiver renewal application please click here.


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