SOUTHERN MARYLAND - Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Ben Cardin (MD-3) today spent time in Charles and St. Mary's Counties hearing from health care providers and advocates and business and community leaders about key federal issues that are of great concern to Southern Marylanders.
In Charles County, the Congressmen heard from representatives from health care provider organizations and members of the advocacy community about the likely impact of federal budget cuts on critical programs that support our nation's health care safety net and the future of long-term care in light of recent federal debates on Medicaid, Medicare, and Long-term Care.
"We are engaged in a significant debate dealing with Medicaid, an issue that affects approximately 58 million Americans and more than 600,000 Marylanders who depend on this public health insurance program for basic health care services," said Congressman Hoyer. "Regretfully, this past week, the Congress passed the fiscal year 2006 budget that included at least $10 billion, and as much as $14.7 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program. We are here today to hear from you on how these major cuts will impact the people you represent."
Major federal cuts to Medicaid will force states to make further cuts on what benefits are provided, whom they cover, and how much they pay providers.
"The reason I asked Ben Cardin to come down to Southern Maryland with me today is because he is one of the experts in our state on the subject of heath care financing. He is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in our state and in the nation on what challenges we face to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care, and what the solutions ought to be," Hoyer added.
In St. Mary's County, Hoyer and Cardin met with members of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, the Patuxent Partnership and business and community leaders to discuss the upcoming Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Todd Morgan, President of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance and Bob Allen, President of the Patuxent Partnership both gave presentations to Hoyer and Cardin on their efforts to prepare Southern Maryland's bases for the 2005 BRAC.
"Our military installations are advantaged when the entire Maryland Delegation is working together on their behalf," Hoyer said. "The work you are doing is critical to our success, and I appreciate you taking the time to ensure that all members of our Delegation are informed and prepared to be able allies in Washington for Southern Maryland."