Medicaid Flexibility Bill Approved By House Subcommittee

The measure, which Medicaid advocates say would "devastate the program," would repeal the maintenance of effort provision in the health law which prevents states from cutting eligibility rules before 2014. GOP backers argue it is the best way to give states more flexibility to deal with the program as they face budget shortfalls.

The Hill: House Panel Approves Medicaid Flexibility Bill
A House subcommittee voted Thursday to let states cut their Medicaid rolls despite unified Democratic opposition and amendments designed to highlight the bill's potential effect on children and the elderly. The bill would repeal "maintenance of effort" (MOE) provisions in the new health care law, which prevent states from reducing Medicaid eligibility before 2014. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee touted the measure as a way to provide needed flexibility to the states as they face severe budget shortfalls (Baker, 5/12).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicaid Advocates Say GOP Cuts Would Devastate Program
Families USA, one of the most active consumer health advocate groups, issued a report Thursday highlighting the state by state numbers of what would happen to millions of recipients under Republican proposals to change Medicaid. And the group's leader said the timing of the release was very much keyed to the fact that lawmakers seem to be zeroing in on that program to help solve the budget problem. "We're very much concerned that Medicaid is the next target," Families USA President Ron Pollack said on a conference call with reporters at roughly the same time that the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee was marking up a bill (HR 1683) that would remove the federal requirement that states maintain Medicaid current eligibility standards and procedures until the expansion of the program under the health care law takes effect in 2014 (Bunis, 5/12).

Modern Healthcare: Bill To Allow Medicaid Enrollment Cuts Advances
Legislation to allow states to cut their Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program enrollments was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Thursday. … The bill would allow enrollment for both public insurance programs to dip by about 400,000 people in 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office, before Medicaid enrollment greatly expands in 2014 because of the federal health care law (Daly, 5/12).

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