Statement of ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray on Passage of COVID Relief Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2020
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515; firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON PASSAGE OF COVID RELIEF BILL
WASHINGTON—ACAP Chief Executive Officer Margaret A. Murray today issued the following statement on the passage of H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will offer more than $900 billion in COVID-19 relief spending:
“This is a needed development, and we’re glad that Congress has offered Americans who need it direct assistance.
“But while this bill brings needed relief, it also leaves work for Congress to do down the road.
“First, Congress should maintain and increase emergency federal matching funds for Medicaid programs in states. These matching funds are governed by a federal formula — the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage. A temporary FMAP increase from 6.2 to 12 percent would go a long way toward helping states keep their Medicaid programs strong. Medicaid is one of the largest line items in state budgets. Without further action by Congress, states will likely be forced to make substantial cuts to health care for people with low incomes.
“Congress knows the consequences of devastating cuts to Medicaid programs – in fact, in this very bill they corrected a grievous error from years ago by restoring Medicaid coverage to citizens of the Marshall Islands and other territories that signed Compacts of Free Association. They understood the critical role of a strong Medicaid program for this population. This should be extended through an increase in the FMAP or further aid to state and local governments.
“Second, we support protecting the maintenance of effort requirements enacted in Section 6008(b) of the Families First Act, which protect people from being kicked off the rolls of Medicaid in the middle of a pandemic. These protections should also apply to children eligible for separate CHIP programs.
“Medicaid is doing its job in the midst of this devastating pandemic. Congress should act further to assure that people who need Medicaid coverage can continue to count on it.”
ACAP represents 78 not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans, which collectively serve more than 20 million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.