Wisconsin Eyeing A Controversial Section 1115 Waiver

Another state is stepping up to bat following Secretary Price’s and CMS Administrator Verma’s letter to state governors promising enhanced flexibility for their Medicaid programs.  Wisconsin has recently unveiled its plan to submit a new Section 1115 waiver application to CMS by May 26, 2017.  In short, the Wisconsin waiver seeks to infuse the state’s Medicaid program with features from the commercial sector, and it does this by borrowing some elements from the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0) and Kentucky waivers,… More

Massachusetts Secretary Sudders Takes Up Price’s and Verma’s Offer for Medicaid Flexibility

On March 22, 2017, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma taking her and HHS Secretary Tom Price up on their offer to grant states more flexibility under the Medicaid program.  In her letter, Secretary Sudders pointed to four aspects of the Medicaid program from which Massachusetts would like “immediate relief” and greater flexibility:

  • Flexibility in benefit design;…
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Partner Tom Barker Speaks to the Washington Post about What Could Happen to Sick People under Cheaper Health Plans

If health plans become cheaper under Republican lawmakers, what happens to the individuals who are seriously ill? Partner Tom Barker discusses the proposed tweaks to the GOP health bill with the Washington Post. Click here to read the article. More

Price and Verma to State Governors: Just Come and Ask Us for Flexibility – What Providers & Drug Manufacturers Could Expect

The last several weeks have been nothing short of enthralling, like an episode of House of Cards. After seven years of campaigning on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans were ultimately unable to create consensus for their highly anticipated repeal-and-replace legislation known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  But as the drama on the Hill comes to an end (at least until tax reform is picked up),… More

Does This Mayo Clinic Policy Violate the Law? Partner Tom Barker Discusses with MPR News

Recent reports say that Mayo Clinic will give preference to privately insured patients over Medicaid and other publicly-funded patients under a new policy, which the Minnesota Department of Human Services is currently investigating. MPR News spoke to partner Tom Barker about the implications of the new Mayo Clinic policy under federal law. Click here to read the full article. More

Medicaid & The American Health Care Act

It’s official—the 115th Congress has set its sights on overhauling the Medicaid program.  We predicted as much (here and here) shortly after the November 2016 presidential elections,  but now we have some insight into exactly what those proposed changes to Medicaid will be.

On March 6, 2017, the House Energy & Commerce Committee (E&C) and Ways & Means Committee (W&M) officially released draft legislation,… More

What the new 2-for-1 Executive Order means for the Medicaid program

On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (“EO”) that has generated considerable confusion in the administrative law space, and has produced at least one lawsuit thus far.  The EO requires that for every new regulation issued by an executive agency, two regulations must be identified for elimination (“repeal”).  This requirement is coupled with another provision that imposes an immediate cap on net costs imposed by new regulations (“offsets”). … More

How the Medicaid expansion will be treated under a block-grant financing framework

One of the most pressing issues before the 115th Congress and newly inaugurated President Trump will be to determine how the Medicaid expansion population will fit into a broader reform package for the Medicaid program as a whole.  Many state governors in expansion states have expressed concern that the long-standing Republican proposal of block-granting Medicaid will leave them exposed to unsustainable financial pressures.

President Trump’s nominee for HHS Secretary,… More

Implications of Trump Administration Executive Order for Health Reform in 2017

Summary

On January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” to signal a clear message that “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a priority for the new administration.  On the same day, the White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memorandum to executive agencies ordering an immediate “regulatory freeze” and directing the Departments to send no regulation to the Federal Register “until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President .… More

Medicaid Directors: Trump Administration Should Formally Include States in Development of Medicaid Regulations

Introduction

Over the course of the last several blog posts, we’ve discussed how the Medicaid program could potentially be transformed under the incoming Trump Administration.  We also described the central role that state-led demonstration waivers would play in defining the parameters of this transformation.  Now, the association for State Medicaid directors is weighing in on precisely this issue.  The National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NAMD)recently published a document laying out the group’s priorities for the Medicaid program in the first 100 days of the incoming Trump Administration. … More