From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andy Harris, M.D., introduced legislation that would eliminate most of next year’s sequester by slightly increasing the state contribution to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion. Under this proposed legislation, the state match for newly eligible individuals under the ACA’s Medicaid program would increase by 10 percentage points for the first ten years of the program. The savings would be applied against next year’s sequestration with the first $20 billion in savings directed to defense, and remaining savings split evenly between defense and non-defense accounts.
“With the concerns both parties have expressed over the sequester, I am proposing a common sense way to offset the cuts,” said Harris. “As the Budget Committees are continuing negotiations, I hope they will consider this solution.”
Many Members are concerned about the across-the-board nature of sequestration, which fails to prioritize government spending. Congressman Harris supports targeted spending reductions that meet the spending caps and savings required under the Budget Control Act. Under current spending rates, defense will be subjected to an additional $20 billion in sequestration in 2014. This bill would offset the looming defense cuts and split additional funds between defense and non-defense spending. Under the President’s health law, state contributions to the Medicaid expansion are zero percent for the first three years and increase gradually to a ten percent match by years seven to ten.