State Medicaid Directors: Senate Bill’s Cuts To Program Are ‘Unworkable’

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, from Kentucky, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Republican Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, listen to a question after their policy luncheon, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
June 26, 2017 1:44 p.m.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors on Monday criticized the deep cuts to Medicaid proposed in the Senate’s draft legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare as “unworkable.”

The group approved of certain provisions in the bill, like greater flexibility for the types of waivers from the law for which states can apply. But the group blasted the cuts the draft bill would impose to Medicaid.

“However, no amount of administrative or regulatory flexibility can compensate for the federal spending reductions that would occur as a result of this bill,” the group said in a statement. “Changes in the federal responsibility for financing the program must be accompanied by clearly articulated statutory changes to Medicaid to enable states to operate effectively under a cap. The Senate bill does not accomplish that. It would be a transfer of risk, responsibility, and cost to the states of historic proportions.”

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The group refrained from offering an opinion on per capita caps and block grants, the two options states would have for Medicaid funding under the Senate bill. However, it argued that the rate at which the caps on federal Medicaid spending would grow over time under the Senate bill is “insufficient and unworkable.”

The group urged the Senate to leave Medicaid alone for now and to focus solely on the individual marketplace.

Read the group’s statement below:

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