.- Catholic organizations are urging Congress to enact legislation that will ensure that all low-income and newly impoverished hurricane victims can obtain needed medical coverage.
"With each day that passes, more lives are put at risk," said Michael Rodgers, the Catholic Health Association’s interim president and chief executive officer. "Congress should enact emergency legislation as soon as possible."
Catholic health and social services have joined with government agencies to bring assistance in the form of medical care, food, water, temporary shelter, and social services to survivors of the storms. At the same time, "more is required to see that the efforts can continue seamlessly," Rodgers said.
Leaders of Catholic Health Association, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Catholic Charities USA sent a letter to Charles Grassley (R-IA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman, and Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member.
The letter calls for federal legislation to provide Medicaid coverage for all low-income survivors regardless of categorical eligibility; 100 percent federal Medicaid payments for eligible victims in every state; and the streamlining of Medicaid eligibility and enrollment procedures.