Federal Officials Scale Back Maine's Plan For Medicaid Cuts

The Obama administration has denied Republican Gov. Paul LePage's idea to cut health coverage for more than 20,000 low-income residents, but let stand provisions that would cut benefits for another nearly 13,000 residents.

The Associated Press: Federal Officials Scale Back Maine Medicaid Cuts
The Obama administration has rejected Republican Gov. Paul LePage's plan to cut health care coverage for more than 20,000 low-income Mainers but left intact provisions approved by the former GOP-controlled Legislature that'll eliminate benefits for another 12,600 residents. The administration denied Maine’s request to eliminate Medicaid coverage for Maine parents who make between 100 percent to 133 percent of the federal poverty level and to drop coverage for 19- and 20-year-olds, changes that combined would have eliminated coverage to more than 20,000 people (Sharp, 1/8).

The New York Times: Maine: Medicaid Purge Is Rejected
The Obama administration rejected Gov. Paul R. LePage's request to drop thousands of people from Medicaid rolls. Mr. LePage, a Republican, had sought to eliminate Medicaid coverage for nearly 15,000 parents with incomes between the federal poverty level ($23,050 for a family of four last year) and 133 percent of that level ($30,657 for a family of four). He also wanted to end coverage for more than 6,000 19- and 20-year-olds (Goodnough, 1/8).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Federal Officials Deny Maine's Medicaid Cuts
Several states had suggested that the Supreme Court's opinion last summer to nix penalties in the health law for states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs could have also lifted the law's ban on cuts to their existing programs. The Obama administration told Mr. LePage's health and human services commissioner, Mary Mayhew, that it doesn’t believe that’s the case (Radnofsky, 1/8).

Politico Pro: Administration Says Maine Can Make Some Medicaid Cuts
The Obama administration has told Maine that it could make some Medicaid cuts, but not as deeply as the state requested — and it's unclear whether Gov. Paul LePage will keep fighting the feds on his preferred cuts. … CMS allowed Maine to reduce income eligibility levels for certain groups, but the agency cited MOE in its rejection of proposed cuts to parents and 19- and 20-year-olds. Maine's next steps are uncertain, and a LePage spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment (Millman, 1/8).

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