Report Details Likely Effects of Proposals to Roll Back Medicaid Coverage

by Rebecca Farley on March 7, 2011

A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers information on how rolling back Medicaid coverage would impact states. Under health reform, states must maintain 2010 Medicaid eligibility levels until at least 2014, when new rules and eligibility levels will go into effect. But with states continuing to experience budget crunches during the recession, some governors have proposed eliminating this “maintenance of effort” provision. According to the CBPP report:

Repealing the maintenance-of-effort provision would almost certainly result in a sharp increase in the number of Americans who are uninsured, as states scale back eligibility for low-income children, parents, seniors, and/or people with serious disabilities — the principal groups of people whom Medicaid covers.  During the recession of the early 2000s, some 34 states cut back Medicaid and CHIP eligibility — causing 1.2 million to 1.6 million low-income adults and children to lose coverage — before Congress acted to prevent states from making further eligibility cuts as a condition of receipt of federal fiscal assistance enacted in 2003… If the maintenance-of-effort provision is repealed now, the number of low-income Americans cut off Medicaid and cast into the ranks of the uninsured will likely far outstrip the number who lost insurance in the early 2000s.

The CBPP report provides background on maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements, outlines the adverse impact that eliminating MOE would have on the economy, and discusses how a repeal would affect children, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities. Click here to read the report.

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