Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, offered the following statement in support of an amendment to ensure the GOP repeal bill does not harm seniors’ access to long term care. Engel voted in favor of the amendment. The statement was read during this morning’s continuing mark-up of the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
“I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. I’ve talked already about the problems that will be created by per capita caps. By putting an arbitrary cap on Medicaid, my Republican colleagues’ bill is going to force states to make draconian cuts. There’s no way around it: Medicaid is an administratively lean program. There is no ‘fat’ to cut. The only possible way for states to deal with these funding caps is to cap care.
“Medicaid is the primary payer for long-term care in this country, and the only real long-term care option for millions of seniors. Medicaid fills the gap for low income seniors enrolled in Medicare who do not have private insurance to cover long term services and support—a service that Medicare, remember, does not cover. I can’t see any reason why any member of this Committee shouldn’t want to ensure this bill’s draconian caps don’t harm seniors.
“I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.”