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Letter urging support for Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008

April 22, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to support H.R. 5613, "Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008." The bill would place a one-year moratorium on Administration-backed regulatory changes in the Medicaid program that threaten the provision of healthcare to the most vulnerable among us: low-income children and families, and children with disabilities. It could also help forestall cutbacks precipitated by deteriorating economic conditions and the consequent drop in state and local revenues available for public education and other essential services.

Medicaid is the single largest component of state spending -- nearly one-fifth of general fund expenditures. Unlike the federal government, states must balance their budgets. Consequently, when declining revenues lead to budgetary shortfalls, they must pare even undeniably essential services such as education and healthcare. By the end of this fiscal year, more than half the states will be in the red and contemplating such cuts.

This important legislation provides temporary, targeted and timely state fiscal relief. We urge you to support H.R. 5613, so the most vulnerable among us can continue to receive healthcare and other essential services in these trying economic times.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy