The President’s budget avoids a sequester that would mean arbitrary and harmful cuts in programs important to women and families; Congress should make it a high priority to pass a budget that does the same. We are pleased that the administration includes a badly needed, if small, funding increase for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and that it continues the health care delivery system work and insurance market reforms contained in health reform. They are essential to providing the high-quality, well-coordinated, patient-centered care Americans urgently need.
We are, however, concerned that the administration’s proposed savings to Medicare and Medicaid could create unmanageable burdens — like a new home health copay and higher Part B deductible — for Medicare beneficiaries, and a new blended rate for Medicaid that would likely shift costs to the states, forcing them to cut the health services that low-income women and children rely on. And we are deeply disappointed that the administration would level-fund Title X family planning services, at a rate that falls far short of meeting the need.
We urge Congress to put aside partisan politics and use this budget proposal as a starting point, and to pass a budget that protects women, working families and those who rely on government for their health care."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.