In a statement released Wednesday, AARP called on Congress to reject legislation that would eliminate Medicaid Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE) requirements as proposed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act currently under consideration in the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.
The Affordable Care Act created the MOE provisions to serve as a bridge into 2010 in order to ensure that certain health coverage remained available until the new health care law is fully implemented. The legislation, H.R. 1683, would allow states to cut eligibility for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
AARP warns that the bill could lead to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Americans losing coverage each year, citing data from the Congressional Budget Office.
In a letter to committee leaders, AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond wrote, "Cuts to Medicaid and CHIP will only result in costly uncompensated care, which will result in higher health care costs in the private market. Rather than simply continue to shift costs, health care costs should be reduced by pursuing more effective ways to deliver and coordinate care; by working to prevent and treat costly chronic conditions; by carefully expanding home and community-based services; and by reining in costs associated with waste and fraud.”
According to a fact sheet released by AARP's Public Polcy Insititute, an estimated 7 out of 10 people will need long-term services and support during their lifetimes. The report suggests that as a result one-third of those people will deplete thier savings and need to rely on Medicaid.