Thursday, April 06, 2006

Grassley-Baucus Emergency Health Care Relief Package (S.1716)

--Key Legislation and Contact Information, Courtesy of Students at the UNC School of Public Health

The Grassley-Baucus Emergency Health Care Relief Package (S.1716)
(http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN01716:)

This legislation would provide Katrina survivors with health coverage wherever they are now located. A simplified eligibility and enrollment process would be created to enroll people from federal disaster counties in Mississippi and Alabama and federal disaster parishes in Louisiana into Medicaid. It would also extend to people who live elsewhere in the affected states who have lost their jobs since Hurricane Katrina. This coverage would encompass everyone with income below the poverty level, pregnant women and children with income up to twice the poverty level. Once enrolled, Katrina survivors who are located in other states would receive Medicaid as though they were Medicaid enrollees in that state. This means no new systems or rules for health care providers or states. The federal government would pay all of the cost of providing Medicaid to covered Katrina survivors in any state in which they are enrolled. This would continue for five months with a potential five month extension. The federal government would pay the full cost of Medicaid coverage for all residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama through December 2006. In addition, the proposal would ensure that no state would experience a decrease in its federal matching rate in 2006. A new, federally administered Disaster Relief Fund would offset uncompensated care costs that health care providers have incurred caring for Katrina survivors.

Who to call: Sen. Carl Levin (MI)
Phone: (202) 224-6221
Website: http://levin.senate.gov/

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Phone: (202) 224-4822
Website: http://stabenow.senate.gov/

What to say: 1. This bill is critical to the health and well-being of Katrina survivors.
2. No action has been taken on this bill since September, 2005.
3. As a concerned citizen of Michigan, I would like to see the Senate take action to approve this bill immediately.

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