Work continues on Medicaid "cliff"

Jul 8, 2019

Work continues on dealing with the Medicaid “cliff” the Marianas and all the insular areas face this year. The $109 million that the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- provided for Marianas Medicaid is used up and a long-term replacement is needed. I did add $36 million for our Medicaid program to the disaster aid appropriation, Public Law 116-20. As reported, $11.6 million of that is already being paid out to Marianas vendors. And we worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to find another $8.2 million in unused funds and make those available in April. Now, following up on the hearing I held in May in the Natural Resources Committee and a similar hearing by the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee in June, work is going forward on legislation to provide substantial, multi-year funding for insular area Medicaid. Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone told the press this week he wants the Health Subcommittee and the full Committee to mark up a bill this month so the House can send a Medicaid fix to the Senate by September.