Monday, April 22, 2019

Medicaid maze of GOP hoops just a ruthless way to save money for tax cuts.

For me, the idea that Republican's want to deny people Medicaid coverage because someone said it should be more of a trampoline instead of a hammock is profoundly cruel and morally bankrupt. Sure, go ahead, make your argument, but it won't make you any less sociopathic. Admit it you will hurt others to save a few bucks.

The fact that Republican voters were okay with Wisconsin expanding Medicaid but not expanding eligibility and NOT taking our own federal dollars back to pay for it (losing over $1 billion) is not just inexcusable but it also trashes the idea that they're good stewards of taxpayer money.

Work Requirement Bureaucracy vs Streamlining Business Regulations: It never made any sense. But Republicans have successfully gotten away with burdening the very people they're elected to serve while bragging about removing burdensome red tape and regulation on business.

While the courts have determined states are doing little to no research on how their draconian regulations like work requirements are hurting adults and children who qualify but don't fulfill one of the so many hoops they're required to jump through, media reports are raising red flags hoping everyone will finally notice. Here's one such report:
Burdensome state eligibility redetermination processes have pushed down Medicaid enrollment in a number of states, raising questions about whether eligible adults and children are being wrongly dropped from coverage, according to a new report.
1. Enrollment dipped last year by about 1.6 million, including 744,000 children, according to the report by the liberal advocacy group Families USA. It fell most sharply in states like Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri, which have established tougher new eligibility redetermination processes ... new Medicaid work requirements established by the Trump administration and Republican elected officials in a number of states.

2. State waivers eliminating 90-day retrospective Medicaid eligibility.

3. Onerous eligibility processes ... may violate federal rules requiring state Medicaid agencies to use all available data to renew a beneficiary's eligibility before requesting any additional information from the person. "The failure of some states to correctly implement the law—and the failure of the Trump administration to effectively enforce the law—is driving a drop in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment that shows no sign of slowing down."

4. In Tennessee, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment dropped last year by nearly 149,000, including 55,000 children ... some beneficiaries have repeatedly mailed in their lengthy renewal application, only to be dropped from coverage when the state said it never received the packet.

5. The head of the state Medicaid program recently told lawmakers that out of 218,000 Tennesseans who have appealed an eligibility denial since 2015, 159,000 people subsequently have been found eligible.

6. "Tennessee has created as much red tape as possible to see if families can run the gantlet," said Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center. "But if you lose that many kids from coverage, someone should be raising a red flag and saying, 'How can we fix that?' "

7. Timothy McBride, a Washington University health economist who chairs the oversight committee for the Missouri Medicaid program, said employment gains couldn't account for 67,000 children losing coverage over the past year. A Missouri family's income level would have to rise from 100% of the federal poverty level to 310% for a child to become ineligible for CHIP coverage. "I'm having a hard time believing that's happening." It's far more likely that the enrollment decline is driven by the state Medicaid program's "notoriously bad" computer system and a troubled call center system that puts people on hold for an hour and then cuts them off.

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