Legal Law

Texas Lawsuit: Biden Administration threatens funding to force Medicaid to expand

A new lawsuit filed Friday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleges that the Biden government “illegally canceled” the state’s Medicaid waiver extension to force Texas to expand Medicaid. Revoking the extension could cost the state around $ 30 billion in funding by 2030, Paxton said.

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a notice revoking the extension of the Medicaid 1115 exemption in Texas, approved by the agency on Jan. 15 under the Trump administration. The exemption supports the state demonstration project, with which managed care is to be extended to additional population groups and services. It has existed since 2011. It has been extended three times since then.

Texas, one of 12 states that will not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, relies on funds made available through the waiver to aid care for the uninsured.

The last extension of the exemption was approved until September 2022. However, Texas asked the Trump-era CMS to extend the exemption until September 2030 as the Covid-19 pandemic had made it difficult to measure the project’s success.

The Biden administration revoked the approval of the extension of the exemption until 2030, stating that Texas and CMS had not met the requirements for the public comment period in the approval process. The previous extension of the exemption to 2022 has resumed, and the current CMS requires Texas to collect public contributions while an extension of the exemption is renegotiated.

But the government cannot overturn a demonstration project and “overthrow a state’s Medicaid system like a child could be a sandcastle,” the lawsuit said.

The CMS notice was issued in violation of the Agency’s rules because CMS did not provide the state with a prior notice or the required notice and opinion required for such regulatory action. In addition, a revocation of the exemption would cut US $ 30 billion from the state budget over the next 10 years and deprive “millions of Texans of improved care coordination,” according to the lawsuit.

The Biden administration had an underground motive for revoking the extension, and that is, “forcing Texas to adopt the Medicaid extension,” the lawsuit states.

The CMS announcement stated that Texas relies on exemption funding to address coverage gaps, mainly due to the state’s failure to expand coverage. This implies that the Texas government is seeking to get Medicaid to expand under the ACA in accordance with the lawsuit.

The move to revoke the waiver extension leaves medical providers uncertain about the future of Medicaid and the demonstration project, the lawsuit said. This uncertainty harms Texas Medicaid beneficiaries.

The state of Texas is urging the court to invalidate the April CMS notice, prevent CMS or any other agency from enforcing the notice in any way, and ensure that the Biden administration provides the funds the state needs .

Photo: zimmytws, Getty Images

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