Thanks to Congress, Medicaid Is Spiraling Out of Control

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Every time there’s an economic downturn, we hear the same narrative from economists: As unemployment increases, more Americans will rely on welfare programs to survive the crisis. Typically, they’re right.

This time, however, it’s different. Back in March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). Buried in the bill was a provision that gave states enhanced funding — a bump in what’s known as the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) — to deal with increasing enrollment on the program. But there was a catch.

To receive the FMAP, states had to give up control of their Medicaid programs.