December 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm ET
Finance Committee Republicans Seek Governor Input on Medicaid Reforms
Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee are seeking advice from GOP governors about what changes they want to Medicaid.
The members are planning a roundtable discussion for next month to discuss how to give states more flexibility, ensure parity across different programs and whether successful state programs could be replicated in other parts of the country.
The senators are also want to know what changes governors would like to see in a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. Thirty-one states have opted to expand eligibility for Medicaid under the ACA, expanding insurance coverage to millions of beneficiaries.
Republicans are facing fierce political pressure to ensure that replacing the ACA doesn’t result in millions of people losing their health insurance. Roughly 20 million people have gained coverage directly because of the law. The Senators say the law is “rife with failures,” but acknowledge that repealing it needs to be done with care.
“We are acutely aware that in dismantling the ACA we have a responsibility for ensuring that Medicaid continues to provide quality of care for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” the senators wrote in a letter to the Republican Governors Association on Tuesday. “In addition, we recognize that we have the opportunity to reflect on flexibilities that states have gained in recent years as well as the factors that inhibit states from pursuing innovations and responding to the unique needs of their Medicaid beneficiaries.”
Republicans have indicated that states will play a role in crafting and implementing an ACA replacement. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has also reached out to governors and state insurance commissioners asking what they’d like to see in a replacement plan.