Rep. Gene Green Introduces Bill to Incentivize Medicaid Expansion in States
WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Representative Gene Green (TX-29), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced H.R. 4588, the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act, which mirrors President Obama’s 2017 budget request to give all states three years of full federal funding when they expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill coincides with Wednesday’s Health Subcommittee hearing to review the Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
“Expanding Medicaid is as much of a good deal for states as it is for patients. In our District alone, 55,000 residents would gain coverage if Texas expanded Medicaid, and 1 million people would gain coverage state wide,” Green said. “Under the ACA, this would happen at minimal cost to the state with the federal government financing 100 percent of expansion costs for the first three years and after that, no less than 90 percent on a permanent basis. Rather than letting the 90 percent match rate take effect in 2017 as originally written into the ACA, this bill would allow all states who expand now or in the future to receive 100 percent backing for 3 years from the date of expansion.”
According to a report by the National Public Radio (NPR), the decision by Texas to reject expansion of Medicaid will cost the state an estimated $100 billion in federal dollars over a decade. At the same time its hospitals are baring a $5.5 billion annual cost for treating uninsured patients. Those uncompensated costs in turn are being covered by taxes and insurance premiums paid by the state's businesses and residents, who are also footing the bill for expanding Medicaid in states that agreed to accept federal funds to offer coverage to nearly all low-income adults.
Green said, “This proposal should put to rest the claims of expansion opponents that the federal government won’t sustain an enhanced match. Rather than shrink the match, it would increase it for states that expanded after 2014 or expand in the future, treating these states the same as those that expanded from the outset.”
Read the bill text here.
Original cosponsors of the bill include: Diana DeGette (CO-01), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Paul Tonko (NY-20), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Joe Kennedy (MA-04), Lois Capps (CA-24), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Bobby Rush (IL-01), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Terri Sewell (AL-07), Hank Johnson (GA-04).