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Letter to the House of Representatives supporting suspension of proposed changes in Medicaid regulations

March 17, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association’s (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to support and become a cosponsor of H.R. 5613, “Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008.” Introduced by Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA), this important legislation would place a temporary, one-year moratorium on Administration-backed regulatory changes in the Medicaid program.

The changes the Administration has proposed would threaten the provision of essential health services to the most vulnerable among us: low-income students and students with disabilities. Since 1986, federal Medicaid policy has explicitly recognized the link between Medicaid and healthcare for low-income children, including management of — and access to — treatment in school settings. Cutting Medicaid payments to schools would jeopardize the ability of students to receive needed school-based healthcare and could force students to remain at home rather than attending school. The proposed changes also threaten the ability of schools to use Medicaid administrative funds for outreach to enroll Medicaid-eligible children.

We urge you to support and become a cosponsor of H.R. 5613, thereby ensuring, for at least another year, the provision of essential health services to low-income students and students with disabilities through the Medicaid program.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Policy and Politics