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Bill to Provide Medicaid to Katrina Survivors Blocked

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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:02 AM
Original message
Bill to Provide Medicaid to Katrina Survivors Blocked
Compassionate conservativism my big blonde ass. There's plenty of money in the budget for butchering infidel Iraqis, but none for helping people who have been through hell get medical care?

A scheduled Senate floor discussion on a bipartisan bill that would provide federally funded Medicaid coverage to Hurricane Katrina survivors on Thursday was delayed until Monday, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said, CongressDaily reports (Rovner/Heil, CongressDaily, 9/23). Grassley and finance committee ranking member Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Sept. 14 introduced the bill, which would have the federal government for five months pay 100% of Medicaid costs for survivors from Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of Alabama who have relocated to other states, with the option of extending the coverage for an additional five months. The federal government also would pay 100% of Medicaid costs through the end of 2006 for all beneficiaries in Louisiana, Mississippi and counties in Alabama that have been designated as disaster areas. Other states would be assured that their federal Medicaid matching rates would not decline next year. Survivors with annual incomes below the federal poverty level would be eligible for the coverage. Pregnant women and children from families with annual incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level also would be eligible for Medicaid. The bill would eliminate any asset tests and would measure income moving forward.

More Bill Details
Further, the bill would establish a fund to help hurricane survivors with private health insurance pay their premiums and change Medicare and Medicaid laws so that survivors do not face penalties for missed application deadlines. In addition, the bill would eliminate copayments and deductibles for hospital services for elderly Medicare beneficiaries displaced by the hurricane. The bill would not delay the launch of the Medicare prescription drug benefit for dual eligibles, as requested by some lawmakers. Dual eligibles' prescription drug coverage will be transitioned from Medicaid to Medicare starting on Jan. 1, 2006, as planned. However, HHS would be required to submit by Oct. 7 a written plan for how it will accomplish the transition for dually eligible beneficiaries in states and counties affected by Hurricane Katrina (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 9/22).

Bill 'Abruptly Delayed'
Grassley and Baucus, who "have been trying to get the bill to the floor all week," were "thwarted by as yet unidentified Republicans who are concerned about the bill's cost," CongressDaily reports. Some also share the Bush administration's concern that expansions of Medicaid coverage to people who are ordinarily ineligible for the program would be difficult to reverse. Baucus, who estimated that the bill would cost about $8.7 billion over five years, said, "This is an emergency. This is not the time for the legislative process as usual." Grassley said, "People want more time to study it. But they'll come back with the same gripe; ... the question is: Do they want to help victims of Katrina or not?" If the bill reaches the Senate floor next week, it could be merged with a package being developed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, CongressDaily reports. The "less contentious" HELP committee package reportedly includes assistance with health insurance premiums for those who lost their jobs because of the hurricane, help for employers, and technical changes to aid community health centers and other clinics treating survivors, according to CongressDaily (CongressDaily, 9/23).

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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. OMG, MLaurel, what are we going to do about all of this?!
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 09:56 PM by Sugarbleus
Okay, UNCLE! I'm getting really scared now.

Compassionate Conservatism for the Wealthy..see, that's how it goes. :eyes:


Bring the soldiers home so we can have a "War on Poverty" fercripesakes.

With our own leaders letting us die/sink into ruin; who needs to fret over terrorists!!!

Pissed off royally here.

Sorry 'bout the raging MLaurel :hug: SB
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm not sure.
Frankly, the repercussions of the Katrina and Rita disasters in combination with the bankruptcy bill that's about to go into effect as well as the blocking of legislation designed to help people worries the hell out of me. We're going to be seeing large numbers of angry, angry people who feel (quite rightly) that their government, the one that many of them fought for in Europe, in Korea, in Vietnam, in the Middle East, doesn't care whether they live or die.
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Exactly... a LOT of anger
A LOT of desperate decisions by angry people coming down the road too.

You know MountainL, every so often I find myself just staring out the window, mouth agape in stunned disbelief. I would NEVER have believed this country could sink so low. Harming it's own citizens in various ways AND trying to invade and "cleanse" other nations at the same time.

I MUST back off from the political scene every so often now; I can't take all the bad news; each day something more unbelieveable.

Sometimes, for people like me who are among the underclass, it feels like knowing "the end" is coming and coming in the next day or so. Feeling that way makes me want to abandon my activism, my computer and run off to gather in supplies to go live like an animal in the outback someplace. It's getting frightfully desperate down here on the bottom rung. :scared:

Many of we poor or near poor (not even counting the already homeless), elderly, children, disabled etc don't have time to worry about Iraq. Our lives are being ripped to shreds right now. We have to be concerned for our OWN safty RIGHT NOW. Where are we going to live? How long can we live there? How will we pay for medicines? Where is a doctor that still takes medicaid or medicare? How will we get around? How will we stay warm in the winter? How do we feed our selves and our offspring with nutrition in mind? Who will protect us from even lower, preying criminals??--the police don't like coming out to help those who make less than $60,000. How do we get our kids and grandkids educated properly? My fav: When will we ever get to the bottom of this ENDLESS stream of social services PAPERWORK and the despicable "scrutiny" regarding our personal lives? And so on and so on...

AMERICA: The GREATEST Third World country on Earth!

I just have to step off from all of the worry every now and then.

STUFF like that...
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