Congress Has Created the ‘Medicaid Perfect Storm’—But They Can Fix It

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Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” It seems some members of Congress have taken his advice.

In a rush to help states that are financially struggling—or preparing for financial turmoil—as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) last month. Despite their best intentions, the fallout from this piece of legislation could be objectively catastrophic for states. Indeed, the bill worsens many of the problems it purports to solve, and Congress must act swiftly to fix it.

The FFCRA offers states increased federal Medicaid dollars to help them weather the virus-induced economic storm that is brewing. But, as always, the devil is in the details and these enhanced Medicaid dollars come with very, very long strings attached.