ACAP Recognizes Representatives Debbie Dingell and Brian Fitzpatrick with Congressional Leadership Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, firstname.lastname@example.org
ACAP RECOGNIZES REPRESENTATIVES DEBBIE DINGELL AND BRIAN FITZPATRICK WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD
WASHINGTON—Today, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) recognized Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) with its 2021 Congressional Leadership Award. The award is given to Members of Congress who demonstrate a commitment to protecting and strengthening programs vital to the health and well-being of people with low incomes.
ACAP honored Representative Dingell and Fitzpatrick for their sponsorship of H.R. 1738, the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act of 2021, which is also sponsored by Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and John Katko (R-NY). The bill would provide 12-month continuous eligibility for all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees, in an effort to combat the pernicious effects of “churn” in the two programs.
Frequently triggered by issues such as lost paperwork and small, temporary increases in income, “churn” leads to interruptions in coverage for Americans with low incomes. The Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act would improve continuity of care, which is particularly important for people with complex chronic illnesses or people who suffer from opioid and other substance use disorders.
Since March of 2020, maintenance of effort rules established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act have prohibited states from removing enrollees from Medicaid until the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, effectively establishing continuous eligibility for all enrollees and providing stability of coverage during a time when Americans relied on it most.
Right now, draft reconciliation package provisions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, of which Rep. Dingell is a member, include a state mandate to provide 12 months of continuous eligibility for children on Medicaid and CHIP. Some states already provide this option— a new study shows the policy substantially increases access to care for low-income children.
“Medicaid and CHIP are the fabric of our health care system but, for too long, we’ve allowed tears in that fabric to jeopardize access to care for millions of Americans,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “Representatives Dingell and Fitzpatrick recognize what ACAP has long held to be the bottom line: We cannot continue to allow Medicaid churn to harm American families. We are so grateful for their efforts to reach across the aisle to promote continuous eligibility on the Hill in a bipartisan way. We’re thrilled to honor them with this award.”
The award will be presented during ACAP’s 2021 CEO Summit.
ACAP represents 78 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 22 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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