The Utah Senate approved a bill this week that would repeal and replace the voter-approved Medicaid expansion ballot initiative, Proposition 3, which passed with 54 percent of the vote in Utah’s election this past November. Proposition 3, if implemented, is poised to bring health care coverage to over 150,000 Utahns with annual incomes below $17,236 for an individual and $29,435 for a families of three.
NOTE: This blog was orginally published in Health Affairs on January 24, 2019.
Since July, a grim drumbeat has sounded from Arkansas: thousands of people losing their health insurance every month, disenrolled from Medicaid and “locked out” from rejoining until next year. This past June Arkansas began implementation of a new set of work and community engagement requirements involving new monthly reporting requirements.
On November 6th, we saw a “Health Care Wave” sweep across the country altering the balance of power in Washington and across state capitols across the country. Exit polls revealed what we long suspected: health care was one of the most important issues on the minds of voters, and in particular people who voted for Democrats. Democrats, who needed 23 additional seats to retake the House of Representatives, have gained are on track to gain at least 35 seats.
The fate of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, Idaho, Utah, and Montana lies in the hands of voters with less than two weeks left until Election Day. Advocates, volunteers, and grassroots organizers have put it all on the line to help their friends and neighbors to have a voice in the debate about the benefits of expanding health care coverage.
Summer isn’t over, but the comment periods for three critical state Medicaid proposals will end before Labor Day. Each of the proposals will mean more red tape and frustrations for families seeking health care in Alabama, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.
Mississippi has submitted a revision of its Medicaid waiver now up for federal comment. This revised waiver would allow affected parents to retain Medicaid for up to 24 months of “transitional medical assistance” for each month that they comply with the work requirement and its associated documentation.
Budget Proposal Would Allow States To Drop Medicaid Transportation Benefits Across The Entire Program
The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request signals that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) intends to use regulatory authority to allow states to drop the Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit. This benefit has been part of Medicaid since the program’s inception in 1966. Changing that would be a stunning precedent, reversing more than 50 years of Medicaid policy.
Kentucky’s successful Medicaid expansion is in jeopardy. The Trump administration approved the state’s request to impose work requirements on people who get health coverage through Medicaid which would lead to people being kicked off the program.