National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from
(800) 950-NAMI;

March 9, 2004


Honorable Jim Nussle
House Budget Committee
309 CHOB
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Chairman Nussle:

As the Budget Committee prepares the House budget resolution we are troubled by proposals that could weaken coverage and access to services for millions of Americans, including our nation's seniors and disabled, by making reductions to the Medicaid program.

Last year this Congress and the Administration achieved a great victory in health care coverage - the addition of an outpatient prescription drug to the Medicare program.   As you know, the Medicare program covers over 40 million of our nation's elderly and disabled individuals as well as those with end-stage renal disease, now with the most comprehensive benefit package since the inception of the program.  Six million of those Medicare beneficiaries are also covered by the Medicaid program and account for 40% of total Medicaid spending.  These dual eligibles and disabled Medicaid recipients account for approximately 70% of total Medicaid program spending. 

The state and federal governments have ensured that more than 50 million people have access to health care services through the Medicaid program. This includes 25 million children - more than one in four in the U.S. Many states have developed innovative methods of extending coverage to those who are clearly in need, including adopted and foster care kids, pregnant women, women at risk for breast cancer and disabled persons reentering the workforce.

While states continue efforts to provide the best possible services to eligible beneficiaries, the federal commitment to ensuring this goal must not be diminished. In fact, we should seek ways to make the program more efficient through innovations in health care delivery.   Proposing reductions without ensuring the preservation of coverage for those in need simply transfers the burden to states. 

We urge the Budget Committee to refrain from proposing cuts to Medicaid spending. Any cuts would add millions to the ranks of the uninsured at a time when Congress is working to reduce those ranks.




Hon.  Randy Duke Cunningham
Hon.  Devin Nunes
Hon.  George Radanovich
Hon.  Ed Royce


Hon.  Rob Simmons


Hon.  Timothy V. Johnson
Hon.  Donald A. Manzullo


Hon.  James A. Leach


Hon.  Jim Ramstad


Hon.  Jon C. Porter

New Jersey

Hon.  Frank A. LoBiondo
Hon.  Jim Saxton

New Mexico

Hon.  Stevan Pearce

New York

Hon.  Sherwood Boehlert
Hon.  Amo Houghton
Hon.   Sue Kelly
Hon.  Peter King
Hon.  John M. McHugh
Hon.  Jack Quinn
Hon.  John E. Sweeney
Hon.  Jim Walsh

North Carolina

Hon.  Richard Burr
Hon.  Robin Hayes


Hon.  Phil English
Hon.  Jim Gerlach
Hon.  Tim Murphy


Hon.  John J. Duncan, Jr.
Hon.  William L. Jenkins

West Virginia

Hon.  Shelly Moore Capito