CMS will no longer approve full funding for a partial Medicaid expansion by states, dashing the hopes of a handful of Republican states looking to receive more federal money for covering fewer people than states fully expanding the program under the Affordable Care Act. The agency announced the change over the weekend in turning down a bid from Utah.
“We are deeply disappointed by this latest development,” Utah’s Republican governor, Senate president and House speaker said in a joint statement Saturday. Utah received CMS approval for an expansion in April that only grew coverage to 100% of the federal poverty level, instead of to 138% of the federal poverty level as required under the ACA for the government to take on a larger share of the costs.
A fallback provision in the state legislation is likely to kick off a full Medicaid expansion in the state, similar to the one approved by voters in November.
The policy shift puts the Obama and Trump administrations on the same side — though for very different reasons. President Barack Obama’s healthcare regulators rejected partial expansion on the grounds that it goes against the tenets of the ACA, while Trump’s are now rejecting it because it relies on the law itself. […]