What is H. Res. 826?
(Updated March 19, 2021)
This resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the Trump administration has undertaken a “cruel” and “illegal” attack on the Medicaid program. It would call on the Trump administration to withdraw its block grant guidance and cease its campaign to “undermine and weaken Medicaid”. Further, it would call for the Trump administration to faithfully execute the law as it relates to Medicaid.
It would specifically condemn the following actions by the Trump administration:
A guidance to allow states to cap their Medicaid funding through a block grant.
Proposed regulations related to access standards.
A guidance to allow state Medicaid programs to adopt closed formularies in their prescription drug programs.
Proposed cuts in federal funding to the program.
Allowed states to institute policies with regard to eligibility for Medicaid coverage.
As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.
Argument in favor
The Trump administration has repeatedly taken actions that would undermine Medicaid benefits and jeopardize care for millions of vulnerable Americans. This resolution expresses the House’s disapproval of those actions and puts the White House on notice to leave Medicaid alone.
The Trump administration’s recently proposed reforms to Medicaid would improve the care healthy adults covered by the expansion receive by letting states fund their care through block grants if they choose to do so. This non-binding resolution is a waste of time.
Medicaid; and the Trump administration.
Cost of H. Res. 826
As a simple resolution, this legislation would have no cost.
In-Depth: Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) introduced this resolution to express disapproval of the Trump administration’s proposed Medicaid block grant plan:
“President Trump’s decision to roll back Medicaid is just one part of this Administration’s continued assault on affordable and accessible health care. These illegal block grants are just plain wrong. They will allow states who participate to limit the amount of federal dollars they receive to pay for the health care for the millions of lower income and vulnerable people across our country that depend on this program.”
On January 30, 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced the Healthy Adult Opportunity initiative, which would be an optional program to allow states to receive funding in the form of block grants for beneficiaries covered by the Obama era Medicaid expansion (e.g. beneficiaries under the age of 65 without a disability and for whom states have the option of covering):
“Vulnerable populations deserve better care. Data shows that barely half of adults on the Medicaid program report getting the care they need. This opportunity is designed to promote the program’s objectives while furthering its sustainability for current and future beneficiaries, and achieving better health outcomes by increasing the accountability for delivering results. We’ve built in strong protections for our most vulnerable beneficiaries, and included opportunities for states to earn savings that have to be reinvested in strengthening the program so that it can remain a lifeline for our most vulnerable.”
This legislation has the support of six cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats.
In 2017, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans proposed healthcare reform legislation that would’ve given states the option of taking the federal share of their Medicaid funding in the form of block grants. The House passed its version of the bill, but the Senate’s bill failed by a one vote margin.
Axios via Countable (Context)
Kaiser Health News via Countable (Context)
Countable - Medicaid History (Context)
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: iStock.com / zimmytws)
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