MEDIA RELEASE: Groups ask Sen. Hagan to reject federal Medicaid cuts

MEDIA RELEASE: Groups ask Sen. Hagan to reject federal Medicaid cuts
Nonprofits, state leaders say cuts being discussed in Washington would result in increased number of uninsured North Carolinians and have a “significant and harmful effect on state economies and jobs”

RALEIGH (June 28, 2011) – A group of nonprofit organizations and North Carolina leaders today called on Senator Kay Hagan to oppose any proposals to drastically cut the federal Medicaid program.

In a letter to Sen. Hagan, the groups wrote,“As you know from your hard work putting together NC budgets during your leadership in the NC General Assembly, our Medicaid program provides critical health care and long term care services to over a million seniors, people with disabilities and children in our state."

The letter criticizes the cuts to federal funding for Medicaid suggested in the budget blueprint by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and urges Sen. Hagan to reject any proposals that would fundamentally alter the Medicaid structure. These proposals include efforts to convert the Medicaid program into a block grant, set a cap on federal spending that would lead to deep reductions in Medicaid funding, and roll back protections for vulnerable North Carolinians.

Reducing federal funding through a Medicaid block grant would simply shift costs to states, beneficiaries and health care providers, the letter says.

“Facing such large cuts in federal funding, North Carolina would have to contribute much more of its own funds — by raising taxes or cutting other spending — or as is more likely, would have to slash eligibility, benefits and provider reimbursement,” the letter says. The measures would only increase the number of uninsured and reduce the access to needed care.

“NC’s Medicaid program provides high-quality care for the lowest-income and most vulnerable people in North Carolina,” the letter reads. “We urge you to oppose block grant proposals, spending caps and other legislation that imperils this mission.”

Signers of the letter comprised of The North Carolina Justice Center, Covenant with North Carolina’s Children, AARP North Carolina, Representative Rick Glazier, NC House, Action for Children North Carolina, North Carolina State AFL-CIO, Disability Rights North Carolina, North Carolina Council of Churches, Action NC, NC Social Justice Project, Hemophilia of North Carolina, Advocates Serving and Protecting, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, North Carolina Fair Share, Durham for Obama and Flynt Mullinix Health Care Consulting, Inc.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Searing, Director of the Health Access Coalition,, 919-856-2568