Bingaman Fights Republican Plan To Change Medicaid

New Mexico – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today highlighted concerns he has with a House of Representatives-passed budget plan that would make drastic changes to Medicaid - a federal/state partnership that provides health care to tens of thousands of New Mexicans.

Last month, the House approved a budget proposal put forth by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan that would change how the federal government would fund Medicaid. Instead of a guaranteed source of federal funding to provide for the needs of Americans qualifying for Medicaid like it is today, the House proposal would block grant the funding beginning in 2013. As a result, states would be forced to either cut important medical services or shift Medicaid costs to their budgets.

"At its core, the Ryan proposal reduces the federal commitment to Medicaid and the poor residents the program serves at a time when many American families have lost their jobs and lost access to health insurance through their employers," Bingaman said. "Under the Ryan proposal, the medical care of more than 450,000 New Mexican elderly, disabled, children and pregnant women would be jeopardized."

"I am a very strong supporter of efforts to address the long term budget problems facing our nation. These efforts are critical to our nation's future and I look forward to continuing to work towards a solution. But I strongly believe that such efforts must be thoughtful and balanced and not crafted at the expense of America's most vulnerable populations," Bingaman said.