Senate bill encourages state Medicaid expansion
What's the issue?
On April 13, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced
, the States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act of 2016.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion was intended to be national by 2014. However, the Supreme Court decision in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius case gave states the opportunity to opt out of expanding Medicaid. As a result, only states that chose to expand Medicaid by 2014 were eligible for federal assistance.
The bill would allow all states to receive federal assistance to expand Medicaid coverage regardless of when such expansion takes place.
If enacted, states would receive three years of full federal funding, phasing down to a 95 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) in year 4; a 94 percent federal contribution in year 5; a 93 percent in year 6; and 90 percent for each year thereafter.
Why is this important?
Medicaid provides public health insurance to seniors, people with disabilities and children from low-income families. Currently, 19 states have not expanded their Medicaid programs. This bill encourages those states to address the health care concerns of underserved communities.