The Protect Medicaid Campaign – representing New York’s leading health care consumer advocacy groups – applauds the introduction of the coronavirus relief package bill H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. We are especially grateful that the bill will result in:

  • Increases in Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP)
  • Hazard pay for frontline healthcare workers
  • Aid to states and localities

However, we are deeply alarmed by the final section of the bill Sec. 200015: Modification to Maintenance of Effort Requirement for Temporary Increase in Medicaid FMAP (page 1815).  This provision undoes protections in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), allowing disastrous cuts to the Medicaid program in New York State – the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.  It also sets a dangerous precedent for other states that can result in hundreds of thousands of Americans losing Medicaid coverage at a time when we most need a strong healthcare system to protect lives, including those of our most vulnerable Americans.  We are thereby extremely concerned with this provision and urge its removal from the final relief package.

We thank New York’s Congressional delegation for everything they are doing to protect the health and lives of New Yorkers during this unprecedented public health crisis.  It is incumbent on our Congressional delegation to also stand up for the 6.3 million New Yorkers who receive affordable, comprehensive care through Medicaid.

The statement is available for download here.