HHS Approves Another Legally Suspect Medicaid Waiver, This Time in Maine

HHS Approves Another Legally Suspect Medicaid Waiver, This Time in Maine

Waiver Allows Maine to Impose Onerous Obstacles for Medicaid Beneficiaries

Washington – The Trump administration approved Maine’s Medicaid waiver project, dubbed “MaineCare,” which if allowed to stand will terminate vital health care coverage for hard-working families trying to survive on low-incomes. Maine’s scheme includes burdensome documentation of work, high premiums, and an end to retroactive eligibility.

The National Health Law Program’s Legal Director Jane Perkins blasted the Trump administration, “In some ways, this is the most outrageous approval yet. Unlike previous waivers approved by the administration, which focused on the Medicaid expansion added by the Affordable Care Act, this approval targets traditional Medicaid populations only – caretakers, children, older adults, and people with disabilities. HHS has stated its intention is to fundamentally transform Medicaid, so we are sadly not surprised by this approval.” Perkins added, “Beyond its questionable legality, Maine’s Medicaid waiver project will harm some of the hardest working and most vulnerable communities in the State.”

Senior Attorney Catherine McKee added, “Conditioning health coverage on work and adding premiums and lock-outs to Medicaid is draconian. And for what? To limit health care to fewer people? That makes no sense if anyone is serious about making this a better or greater society.” McKee added, “Maine’s Medicaid waiver project is legally suspect and should not have been approved.”

The National Health Law Program is leading litigation against similar waiver projects in Kentucky and Arkansas. National Health Law Program also filed comments with HHS objecting to the waivers in IndianaNew Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Please contact National Health Law Program communications at leaming@healthlaw.org to speak with Perkins or McKee for additional comments and resources.

National Health Law Program, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.

 

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