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Camp Floor Statement: H.R. 2576 – Modify Income Calculation for Eligibility for Certain Health Programs

October 27, 2011

I am pleased to come to the floor today and share my time with one of our committee’s newest members – Representative Diane Black.  In taking the lead on this legislation, Ms. Black has identified an area of poor stewardship of taxpayer dollars and she has taken steps to save taxpayers $13 billion.  I am happy to support her and this legislation.

H.R. 2576 modifies the income definition for determining eligibility for exchange subsidies, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.   The legislation conforms the definition of income in the Democrats’ health law to the standards used by other federal low-income programs such as food stamps and public housing.  

By aligning this definition with other federal subsidy programs, the legislation ensures that taxpayer funds will not be used to enroll middle class individuals into Medicaid, which is an abuse of the program’s mission to provide targeted assistance to those who are most in need of help.

One of the most encouraging outcomes of Representative Black’s legislation is that it has garnered bipartisan support, including the support of President Obama.  In its Statement of Administration Policy, the Obama Administration affirms its support for passage, and goes so far as to say that, “The Administration looks forward to working with the House to ensure the bill achieves the intended result.”  

Today, I urge my colleagues in the House to vote yes on H.R. 2576, and I encourage our colleagues in the Senate to quickly follow suit.