Cantwell to Offer Measure to Protect Medicaid, Including Apple Health, from Devastating Cuts

Measure would protect Medicaid, which covers millions of Washingtonian families, seniors, adults and children with disabilities, and veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, in the on-going debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate over the future of health care, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will offer a measure that would protect Medicaid, including Apple Health and the Medicaid expansion nationwide. The Republican health care bills being debated would end Medicaid as we know it, undermining coverage for more than 1.6 million Washingtonians who get their health care through Medicaid, including families, seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans without access to VA health coverage.

The Cantwell measure – known in legislative parlance as a Motion to Commit – would send the current Republican health care bill back to the Senate Finance Committee to remove all provisions that would weaken Medicaid or shift costs to states to cover care. A Motion to Commit requires a simple majority vote for passage. The Cantwell measure is expected to be voted on around 3:30 ET/12:30 PT.

“More than 600,000 people in Washington state have gained coverage through the expansion of Medicaid coverage and Apple Health. For the families, persons with disabilities, seniors, and veterans who use Medicaid for health care, we cannot allow the war on Medicaid to continue,” said Senator Cantwell. “It’s time for my Republican colleagues to work with us to fix the individual market and improve the Affordable Care Act. Cutting people off of Medicaid to solve the individual market problem simply does not make sense.”

Cantwell has been a leading defender of Medicaid in the Senate, sounding the alarm over the effects that cutting and capping the program will have on patients and their families in Washington state. Over the past 6 months, Cantwell heard directly from concerned Medicaid patients, health care providers, and advocates across Washington state who would be negatively impacted from cuts to the Medicaid program. Cantwell has also heard directly from her constituents at multiple town halls in Washington.  

Cantwell has also joined veterans to share how cuts to Medicaid would remove a lifeline for millions of veterans and their families who can’t access health care through the VA or can’t access VA health care facilities in their communities. Medicaid is a source of coverage for 56,000 veterans in Washington state.

To rally support, Cantwell has spoken repeatedly on the Senate floor and has urged her colleagues to focus on ways to save money in the delivery of Medicaid rather than cutting people off of their health insurance, such as helping the elderly stay in their homes to receive treatment instead of moving them to nursing homes.

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June 26, 2017: Cantwell Takes Senate Floor to Defend Vulnerable Americans from Trumpcare Bill
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