Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Medicaid flexibility bill proposed in Congress

Yesterday, House and Senate Republicans announced a new bill that would provide states with more flexibility to run their Medicaid programs. The proposed legislation would repeal the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements of ObamaCare.

While ObamaCare's official Medicaid expansion does not take place until 2014, states are not allowed to scale back their eligibility levels in the interim.

An initial estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that over the next five years this increased flexibility granted to states would save the federal government $3 billion. Supporters of the bill argue that the inability of state officials to manage their Medicaid eligibility standards will inevitably result in cuts to providers.

The commonwealth watched as state officials struggled to shore up the Medicaid budget deficit during this year's session, and the scrutiny will only continue until savings are realized. This type of legislation could have significant implications for future budget discussions.

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