CQC Voices Concerns Over Oregon’s Medicaid Waiver Proposal

By Consumers for Quality Care, on March 24, 2022

CQC Voices Concerns Over Oregon’s Medicaid Waiver Proposal

March 22, 2022

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 445-G
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure:

Consumers for Quality Care is a coalition of advocates and former policy makers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. We are writing to express our support for a strong Medicaid program in Oregon, one that ensures an equitable Oregon Health Plan that provides comprehensive health care for all enrolled Oregonians.

While we are pleased to see that Oregon’s Medicaid waiver application includes some positive provisions, such as extending and stabilizing coverage for eligible children and adults, providing benefit packages to members in times of transition, the usage of Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), and seeking alignment with Tribal partners’ priorities, we have serious concerns with other changes included in the application which would prove harmful to Oregonians and could greatly restrict access to the medications many rely on.

Limiting the approval of accelerated approval drugs with “limited or inadequate evidence of clinical efficacy” ties the hands of doctors who know their patients – and the medicines they need – best and limits the drugs they can prescribe. This one-size-fits-all approach to medications will inevitably have negative consequences for some of the most vulnerable patients in Oregon, particularly those with chronic illnesses who may rely on experimental treatments. Patients that have found drugs proven to work for them and those that rely on innovative drugs that are newly approved by the FDA will lose access.

These actions prioritize cutting costs over the health and wellbeing of Oregonians. We urge you to reject this harmful portion of the Oregon Medicaid waiver request.


Consumers for Quality Care