05-R 142

2005 -- S 0298

Enacted 03/29/05


S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N




     Introduced By: Senators Gallo, P Fogarty, Walaska, and C Levesque

     Date Introduced: February 09, 2005



     WHEREAS, Over 53 million Americans, including 185,000 Rhode Islanders, rely on

Medicaid for their health care; and

     WHEREAS, In the most recent recession, millions of Americans who otherwise would

have been without health insurance had coverage including affordable prescription drugs thanks

to Medicaid; and

     WHEREAS, Any federal cuts in this critical program will impair the health benefits these

vulnerable Americans receive, and diminish the program's ability to meet the growing need for

health coverage for low-income people, those with disabilities and the elderly; and

     WHEREAS, While recognizing the need to address rising health care costs that face our

state and nation, we must also take into consideration that the overall growth rate of Medicaid is

lower than that of private health insurance premiums; and

     WHEREAS, Medicaid cuts or funding caps would shift billions of dollars in health care

costs to state and local governments, at a time when states are already dealing with the rising cost

of health care and prescription drugs and an aging population; and

     WHEREAS, States need reliable and consistent federal Medicaid funding to sustain their

Medicaid programs, and reducing or capping federal funding would severely strain state budgets

and move state fiscal policy in the wrong direction; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

opposes changes in the structure of the Medicaid program that would convert the program into a

block grant or otherwise impose caps on federal funding or reduce funding to the States; and be it


     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

respectfully requests that the Rhode Island Congressional delegation support a FY2006 federal

budget that protects both the funding and structure of the Medicaid program so that it may

continue to meet the vital health care needs of the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders; and be it


     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the President of the United States and the

Rhode Island Delegation in the Congress of the United States.