FGA Determines State Lawmakers Can and Should Opt Out Of Federally Increased Medicaid Funding Without Fear of Repercussions
- BY FGA
Naples, FL—Yesterday, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) released a report explaining how state lawmakers can regain full control of their Medicaid programs. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) temporarily increased Medicaid funding by 6.2 percent with the condition that states keep all enrollees in the program regardless of their eligibility status until the federal government ends the public health emergency.
For two years, the federal government has renewed the declared emergency, and in that time Medicaid costs have reached record-high levels largely due to states’ inability to remove ineligible enrollees. FGA reported that nothing in the FFCRA legally prevents states from opting out of this increased funding. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has also addressed the issue, saying those states that choose to remove ineligible enrollees from their Medicaid rolls will not lose any funding provided in previous quarters.
“States have been suffering for two years from a government-declared health emergency that has forced states and taxpayers to fund benefits for ineligible Medicaid enrollees. Now, for many states, the cost of this increased funding is beginning to exceed the amount of the funding, while putting the Medicaid program itself in serious jeopardy, threatening the health of those the program is intended to help,” said Stewart Whitson, Senior Fellow at FGA. “Lawmakers can now confidently take a stand against this attempt to expand Medicaid to those who do not need it by opting out of the FFCRA’s increased funding agreement without fear of legal repercussions. Doing so, they will regain full control of their Medicaid programs and state programs will remain a viable option for those individuals who actually qualify for it.”
States worried about the federal government clawing back funds paid in previous quarters should lay those fears to rest, based on the plain language of the statute and CMS’s own guidance.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that promotes public policy solutions to create opportunities for every American to experience the American Dream. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.