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Monday Morning Medicaid Must Reads: Nov 12th, 2018

Helping you consider differing viewpoints. Before it’s illegal.

 
In this issue…
Article 1:

MACPAC urges Azar to pause, re-evaluate Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirements, Eli Richman, FierceHealthcare, Nov 9, 2018

Clay’s summary:
MACPAC feels left out with all the attention on work requirements, needed to go on record as raising yellow flag.
Key Excerpts from the Article:
In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, the independent commission that advises CMS on policy matters said it was “highly concerned” about the statistics and recommended the state pause the program until adjustments can be made… The disenrolled individuals in Arkansas were unable to report work and community engagement activities as required by the policy, but the commission argued that the state’s approach contributed to the challenges. However, MACPAC cited extremely low rates of successful reporting: A whopping 91.6% of the beneficiaries required to report compliance failed to do so in September 2018…. “The low level of reporting is a strong warning signal that the current process may not be structured in a way that provides individuals an opportunity to succeed, with high stakes for beneficiaries who fail,”
Read full article in packet or at links provided
 

Article 2:

Medicaid Expansion Opponent Picked to Lead Medicaid, Steven Porter, Health Leaders Media, Oct 16, 2018

 
Clay’s summary:
The current CMS/Trump administration has repeatedly expressed a clear belief that CMS can leverage Medicaid to alleviate poverty vis a vis work requirements being asked for by states. Lefties keep repeating the same rebuttals (and effectively calling Ms. Verma a liar when she refutes leftist claims that work requirements’ main goal is to reduce Medicaid rolls), and have not offered any other solutions to alleviate poverty. In the lefty mind, CMS really only pays for things and does not have any other function. In a shocking turn of events, the current CMS/Trump administration (duly elected by American voters, despite what tin-foil hat wearing loony left zombies think re RussiaHoax) has appointed someone who has a history of not floating the pay-for-everything Medicaid mainstream. If your head did not explode from this paragraph- quick, go knit another protest hat to deal with the trauma of someone disagreeing with you!
Key Excerpts from the Article:
Mary Mayhew’s rise-out-of-poverty rhetoric around Medicaid policymaking aligns with statements made by Trump administration officials. Mayhew oversaw a shrinking state Medicaid program and opposed Medicaid expansion… One critic, a Democrat, described her as “antagonistic toward Medicaid.” …A former hospital lobbyist who spent most of the past decade as Maine’s health commissioner under Gov. Paul LePage has been tapped to lead Medicaid on the federal level. …Mary Mayhew earned a reputation in Maine as someone who, alongside LePage, championed additional limits on the public benefit programs she oversaw, reducing enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program by 67,000 beneficiaries between 2011 and 2015 then opposing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act….
Read full article in packet or at links provided

Article 3:

Wisconsin Wins Federal Approval for Medicaid Work Requirements, Steven Porter, Health Leaders Media, Oct 31, 2018

Clay’s summary:
But, but, but- muh lawsuit!!!
Key Excerpts from the Article:
 
The state is the fifth to secure approval for such a program, but a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s waiver last summer, so Wisconsin is the fourth with an active waiver.
The federal government formally approved Wisconsin’s plan Wednesday to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid recipients, signaling that the Trump administration is not backing down from the controversial policy position.
Read full article in packet or at links provided