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Anti-ACA states keep asking for Medicaid waivers

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In September,  the federal government denied Arizona and Ohio’s requests to adopt strict eligibility requirements for their Medicaid programs.

Surprising many observers is that in the third year into Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act,  some Republican-led anti-ACA states have kept asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services   for waivers that the Feds have repeatedly refused.

“It’s clear there’s an ideological component,”  Jesse Cross-Call, a health policy analyst for the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told Governing magazine. CMS has made it clear that certain requests won’t be approved, “and state legislators know that, but they feel they should ask anyway.”

Governing reported:

“To encourage the  {Medicaid-expansion} holdout states, the federal government let them tailor their Medicaid programs using a Section 1115 Waiver. Six states (Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire) have used the waiver to expand Medicaid while adding tweaks to appease their more conservative legislators. Those commonly include charging premiums, enrolling beneficiaries on the private marketplace and eliminating non-emergency medical transportation.

“But states can’t make just any changes they want. They have to be approved by the Feds — and they often aren’t.”

To read the Governing story, please hit this link.

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