09.18.14

House, Senate Leaders Repeat Calls for Administration Transparency on Health Law’s Medicaid Changes

WASHINGTON, DC – Republican leaders of the House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction today sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner regarding the ongoing challenges states are facing while implementing the health law’s changes to Medicaid. 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) write, “The challenges states are experiencing with Medicaid applications are problems that CMS itself directly contributed to or created. … CMS’s focus on state challenges wrongly ignores the serious, systemic operational challenges created by the agency.” 

Upton, Hatch, and Alexander first wrote to CMS regarding the backlog of Medicaid applications on May 22, 2014. The administration failed to address the concerns outlined in this letter in its July response to the leaders. Following that response, CMS again pressed several states regarding their implementation of Medicaid changes under the health law, demanding answers within 10 days of receipt of the letter.

Upton, Hatch, and Alexander write, “We also find it troubling that in these letters, CMS demands a level of transparency and accountability to which it is not also willing to hold itself. … Nearly nine months into the Medicaid expansion established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), CMS has yet to publicly release the number of newly-eligible childless adults enrolled in Medicaid under PPACA – despite repeated requests from our offices.”

The leaders request the same level of transparency from the administration, seeking answers to several questions regarding the health law’s Medicaid expansion within 10 days of CMS receiving this letter.

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