Noteworthy News

Republican Governors’ Proposal Calls for Major Medicaid Overhaul

Adequate funding for Medicaid and urban safety-net hospitals could be jeopardized under proposals unveiled yesterday by the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee’s Health Care Task Force.

In a 16-page report that calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the task force presents seven principles and 31 solutions for reforming Medicaid in a manner that give states greater flexibility to decide how to structure and finance their Medicaid programs, whom to serve through those programs, what services to offer, and how to compensate those who care for Medicaid patients.

The report is a precursor to a health care summit to be held by the Republican governors group in October in Washington, D.C.  It includes among its solutions the possible transformation of Medicaid to a block grant program; suggests repealing “maintenance of effort” requirements and giving states greater freedom to determine – and lower – eligibility standards, potentially creating more uninsured low-income patients that urban safety-net hospitals would have to serve without reimbursement; would enable states to reduce benefits and payments; would enable states to impose greater cost-sharing requirements on recipients, potentially resulting in more uncompensated care for urban safety-net hospitals; and could even jeopardize future Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments.

To learn more about the Republican Governors Policy Committee’s report and recommendations, read a Washington Post article about the report; a press release from House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch in response to the report, which they solicited; and the report itselfCongress Chamber.

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