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Stop federal cuts to Medicaid

E-Alert- Call and thank Senator Smith for his stand against Medicaid cuts.
Monday, March 14, 2005 8:33 AM


Profile of Move to Save Medicaid: Senator Smith Takes a Stand for Oregon

"We shouldn't risk the health of millions for the sake of expediency. A short delay will allow a full study and ensure that any changes improve Medicaid's sustainability while maintaining access to care."
US Senator Gordon Smith

This week Senator Gordon Smith is taking a giant stand to save Medicaid. Today, March 14, he plans to introduce an amendment to restore cuts proposed to Medicaid funding. Proposed Medicaid cuts range from $15-20 billion over the next five years. Senator Smith's amendment will eliminate cuts and create a 23 member commission to study Medicaid and propose future changes.

The vote on Senator Smith's amendment will come as early as Tuesday afternoon. According to Ron Pollack, President of Families USA, "This is the most important vote on Medicaid in memory."

Pollack said that it is critical Oregonians contact Senator Smith this week. We need to thank him for offering the Smith-Bingham Amendment to protect Medicaid and health care for millions of Americans. Senator Smith needs our support right now because it is very likely the House will pass Medicaid budget cuts. If Smith's amendment is successful the budget will end up in conference committee where a final budget will be determined. At that time, we will need Senator Smith to take a stand, again, and tell his Republican colleagues in leadership that he will not support any conference report containing cuts to Medicaid.

Cuts to Medicaid, which funds the Oregon Health Plan, would have a devastating impact on health care for Oregonians. 561,000 Oregonians have access to health care because of Medicaid funding, including more than 238,000 children. 61% of Oregonians in nursing homes receive help from Medicaid funding.

Please take a moment today to call Senator Smith at 1-800-828-0498. Thank him for proposing the Smith-Bingham amendment to restore Medicaid funding and protect vulnerable Oregonians from further health care cuts. You can also contact Senator Wyden and urge him to support the amendment on the floor.

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Join us for Health Care Action Day this week!

Meet Health Care Justice Man and the Health Care Justice Fraud Squad Friday, March 18 at noon during Health Care Action Day. The event will be at Terry Shrunk Plaza, SW 3rd and Madison in Portland. Join us for an action to demand common-sense solutions to reduce the cost of health care and fight for justice in health care.Health Care Action Day is sponsored by OHS, Jobs with Justice and SEIU. Other events will take place around the state including:

Salem- March 17, noon, Capitol mall area
Eugene- March 18, 6-7:30, EWEB
Also events in Tillamook, Albany and Pendleton.
For more information call OHS 503-655-2793 or visit  http://www.oregoniansforhealthsecurity.org

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The Weekly Dose
In 2005, Oregon will spend nearly $3.0 billion on Medicaid, of this the federal government will contribute $1.8 billion.
US Dept of Health and Human Services, February 2004

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Oregonians for Health Security
9813 SE Hwy 212 Clackamas, OR 97015
(503) 655-2793 (503) 655-2879 fax
 http://www.oregoniansforhealthsecurity.org