Many state legislatures are passing the midpoint for 2018 sessions, and trends are emerging in their efforts to tackle health care affordability and coverage. States are also reacting to federal activity around Medicaid and private market coverage including the repeal of the individual mandate. Below are some of the noteworthy state health legislative measures already moving this year.
Today, Families USA and 125 community, provider, labor, and patient organizations sent a letter urging Congress to take immediate action to address the post-hurricane health crises in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and ensure that the nearly 4 million U.S. citizens living in those territories are able to obtain the health care they need. View letter.
Recently, the state of Wisconsin submitted an application to the federal government seeking Medicaid waiver authority to make drug testing a condition of eligibility for the state’s adult Medicaid program--BadgerCare. This request breaks dangerous new ground; drug testing has never been allowed as part of the application process in the Medicaid program. That’s because it is illegal, it will make it harder for everyone applying for Medicaid, and it will hurt rather than help those with substance use disorders.
Today, in a speech to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that the Trump Administration is approving Medicaid waivers that impose work requirements on adults. These requirements are a deplorable break with decades of Medicaid policy, a threat to the one in five Americans who depend on the Medicaid program, and an abuse of the Medicaid waiver authority. This decision is wrong both on legal and policy grounds.
More than $18,000 to spend on Medicaid for each person in Alaska; Nevada gets just over $4,000. Does that sound fair? Well, that’s the funding formula in the GOP health care repeal plan. States that spend a lot on Medicaid now get a lot later. States that spend less get stuck with less. And the formula doesn’t change. Ever.