Press Release

June 9, 2011
Senators Unite Against Turning Medicaid into a Block Grant

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has joined 36 Senate Democrats in standing united against any efforts to slash Medicaid.  In a letter to President Obama, the Senators stated their opposition to block grant, cap, or otherwise eliminate or slash Medicaid coverage for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. 

“Medicaid is a critical lifeline for the millions of Americans who depend on it for their health care needs,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee.  “Turning Medicaid into a block grant program would jeopardize the health of more than 950,000 Marylanders.  We have to reduce our budget deficit, but not on the backs of those who can least afford to lose their health care — low-income Americans, seniors in nursing homes and people with disabilities.”  

Nationally, Medicaid provides essential services to 68 million low-income children, parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors.  According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in May, a majority of Americans oppose converting Medicaid into a block grant program. 

The House-passed Republican budget calls for cutting $1 trillion from Medicaid and turning it into a block grant program to the states. Senator Cardin has consistently supported efforts to reduce the deficit, but he has said we have to be smart about it.  He has called for an end to unneeded tax breaks to large corporations, particularly oil companies that are currently receiving $4 billion a year in tax subsidies. 

On June 7, Senator Cardin and 36 other Senators sent a letter to the President stating their opposition to cutting Medicaid.  Click here to view the full text of the letter.