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Doctors for America, Nearly 100 Groups Urge Increase in Medicaid Reimbursement in Health Care Reform Bill # January 13, 2010


Letter endorses House provisions to set Medicaid payment in parity with Medicare Reimbursement Rates


WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Doctors for America and a broad coalition of provider groups, labor unions, and community activists wrote to Congress to urge them, and the President, to prioritize parity between Medicaid reimbursement rates and existing Medicare reimbursement.  In a letter delivered today, the groups endorsed the policy proposal in the House version of the health care reform bill as the best solution to include in the final reform bill in order to make sure patients most in need can get access to care.

“As we expand the Medicaid program, we must ensure there are enough doctors and nurses to deliver the care.  The House provision ensures access to care for those most in need,” said Dr. Mandy Krauthamer Cohen of Doctors for America.  “As Congress and the President finalize this historic health reform bill, our 16,000 physician members urge them to include the House bill provision to bring Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care in line with comparable Medicare rates within four years.” 

While both the Senate and the House bills would increase enrollment to Medicaid by an estimated 15 million people, but the Senate bill does not address the low rates of reimbursement for providers for primary care.  The House provision adjusts Medicaid payments for primary care to at least 100 percent of Medicare rates.

 Doctors for America is a grassroots group of over 16,000 physicians with a presence in all fifty states committed to passing meaningful health reform legislation.  The group works to convey the ideas and experiences of physicians in order to achieve reform that provides high quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. 

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and Chairmen Rangel, Waxman, Miller, Baucus, Dodd and Harkin:

As you craft the final health care reform bill, the undersigned organizations urge you to ensure meaningful access to care under the proposed Medicaid expansion by adopting the House provision to bring Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care in line with comparable Medicare rates within four years.

While we strongly support expanding Medicaid to extend health coverage to low income individuals, we are very concerned that failure to address reimbursement disparities will weaken an already fragile network of Medicaid providers at a time when the demand for their services will be growing.

Medicaid rates average just 66% of Medicare rates for primary care services and are woefully inadequate to cover the cost of providing care. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the planned expansion will increase enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by as many as 15 million beneficiaries. Those who rely on Medicaid to meet their health care needs include millions of low-income women, children, minorities and individuals with disabilities. The inadequacy of Medicaid reimbursement levels must be addressed in conjunction with the Medicaid expansion or we risk leaving our poorest and most medically-vulnerable residents behind despite the remarkable promise offered by health reform.

Please give high priority to ensuring access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries by adopting the House provision to adjust Medicaid payments for primary care to at least 100 percent of Medicare rates.

Thank you for your consideration.



AIDS Foundation of Chicago

AIDS Project Los Angeles

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin

AIDS/HIV Health Alternatives

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physician Assistants

American Foundation for the Blind

American Anesthesiology Group, Inc.

American Association of People with Disabilities

American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Physicians

American Hospice Foundation

American Network of Community Options and Resources

American Nurses Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Osteopathic Association

American Society of Nephrology

American Thoracic Society


Association for Community Affiliated Plans

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Autism Society

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Black Women's Health Imperative

Broward House

Burton Blatt Institute

California Medical Association

Catholic Health Association of the US

Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY

Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.

Cerebral Palsy Association of Ohio

Clinica Sierra Vista

Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups

Coalition on Human Needs

Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare

Community Access National Network

Consumer Action

Consumers Union

Council for Exceptional Children

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

Doctors Council SEIU

Doctors for America

Easter Seals

Families USA

Family Voices

Harlem United Community AIDS Center

Harris Center for Disability and Health Policy

Health Care For All (Massachusetts)

Health Reform Program

HIV Dental Alliance

HIV Health Services Planning Council-San Francisco

HIV Medicine Association

HIVictorious, Inc.

Housing Works

La Fe Policy Research and Education Center

Lutheran Services in America Disability Network

Mental Health America


National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Association of Children's Hospitals

National Association of Community Health Centers

National Association of County Human Services Administrators

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Association of People with AIDS

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

National Council of Jewish Women

National Disability Rights Network

National Down Syndrome Congress

National Health Law Program

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

National Partnership for Women & Families

National Patient Advocate Foundation

National Physicians Alliance

National Respite Coalition

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

National Women's Health Network

National Women's Law Center

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Northwest Health Law Advocates

NYC for Change

Out of Many, One

Pediatrix Medical Group

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Project Inform

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coalition

Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need

Renal Physicians Association

Reproductive Health Access Project


Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition

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