More and more GOP-controlled states are seeking permission from Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt legislation that would remove people from Medicaid. Sources within the White House said the administration is poised to approve these efforts.
The Red States Go on the Offensive
The move comes after the failed attempt to repeal Obamacare in Congress, which would have stripped millions of people of Medicaid services and saved hundreds of billions of dollars in return.
Republicans in red states now plan to lend a hand to their peers in Washington and try a backdoor strategy to achieve the same results. In recent months, the HHS has been handing these Medicaid waivers like hot cakes. As a result, lawmakers in about a dozen red states submitted waiver requests or plan to submit them soon.
The lawmakers do not shy away from admitting that the waivers will strip many people of affordable health coverage. Some Republican-controlled states now seek drug tests and work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, while other states are eyeing deep cuts to funds for dental care, vision, and non-emergencies. They are also thinking about defunding abortion providers and placing lifetime limits.
Governors Confident They’d Save Millions
The Republican governors that pushed for these waivers are confident the strategy would save millions of tax dollars and gut Medicaid. However, the goal is quite clear since the waivers undermine the program’s purpose, which could spark a series of lawsuits in the coming months.
Federal laws impose quite strict standards for these waivers to be granted. The states must first run a test program that can prove their strategies can offer quality and affordable care to lower-earners more efficiently.
Similar proposals to impose drug tests or a work requirement were rejected by the previous administration.
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