Bicameral Legislation Empowers States, Ensures Program Sustainability
Today, Representative Devin Nunes (CA-21) announced the introduction of the Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act. Companion legislation, S.1031, has been authored in the Senate by Senators Tom Coburn (OK), Richard Burr (NC), and Saxby Chambliss (GA).
The Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act will restore Medicaid's mission and financial sustainability while empowering state leaders to develop local health care solutions. The Act achieves these goals by removing the unresponsive federal bureaucracy from the administration of the program, repealing all unfunded mandates, and targeting financial assistance to low-income Americans.
"Medicaid today is a program that is failing. It has placed state budgets on life support and trapped millions of Americans in a complex and non-responsive health system," said Rep. Nunes. "It is a lowest common denominator system of care that would never be tolerated by our nation's elected leaders and it should not be imposed on the poor."
The Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act provides targeted assistance using pass through grants that are calculated based on each state's ratio of low-income population to the national average. These grants would be updated each year to account for rising costs and changes to population.
"State governments will finally have the flexibility to design and implement a low-income insurance program that meets their unique needs without the uncertainty that characterizes the current federal program. This is essential if we are to deliver responsive and high quality health care to low-income Americans," said Rep. Nunes.
Passage of the Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act will ensure pregnant women, low-income children, and low-income families receive health coverage that is responsive and affordable. States may extend these improvements to low-income elderly and disabled populations using a managed care entity. However, current coverage for these populations remains unchanged.