GOP Legislation Would Allow States To Cut Medicaid Enrollment
On Tuesday, Republican lawmakers proposed legislation (S 868) in both chambers of Congress that would repeal Medicaid maintenance-of-effort requirements that first were introduced in the 2009 economic stimulus package and were expanded in the federal health reform law, Modern Healthcare reports.
The requirements allow states to receive increased Medicaid funding if they keep eligibility requirements above their February 2009 levels (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 5/3). The rules also require states to maintain Medicaid eligibilityÂ standards for adults until 2014, when states' health insurance exchanges are scheduled to launch (Ethridge, CQ Today, 5/3).
Republicans argue that the requirements hinder states, which need more flexibility to manage the program as they contend with budget deficits (Modern Healthcare, 5/3). Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the legislation "starts to put states back in control to balance their budgets while simultaneously lowering federal entitlement spending."
However, opponents of the measure argue that it would leave thousands of low-income residents, including children, without health coverage.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation would save $2.8 billion in the first five years and could lead to as many as 300,000 individuals losing insurance coverage (CQ Today, 5/3).
Hatch introduced the measure in the Senate, while Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) introduced the companion legislation in the House (Modern Healthcare, 5/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.