Biden Administration Requires Texas Health Care Waiver Extension to Have a Full Public Comment Process

On April 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the January 15 fast-track approval of a 10-year extension to Texas’ Medicaid 1115 Transformation waiver by the outgoing Trump administration is rescinded. This move gives an opportunity for Texans to demand real health coverage solutions.

Every Texan Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg issued the following statement:

“We commend CMS for upholding the public notice and comment requirement.  The federal requirement to invite input on the Medicaid waiver process from all Texans is an important right that should not be overlooked.  All Texans deserve a voice in the future of Medicaid.

“Texas can re-submit an extension request, but will be required to conduct a public notice and comment process that complies with federal Medicaid law and regulations.  

“It’s important to acknowledge that the changes approved by the Trump administration—including payments from the proposed revised uncompensated care pool—were not scheduled to take effect until October 1, 2021. 

“And Texas’ 1115 demonstration is still authorized through September 30, 2022.  This means the critical supports for our Texas hospitals, more important than ever, will continue to be met.

“Governor Abbott and the Legislature have an opportunity to build the innovations tested out in the ‘DSRIP’ portion of the 1115 waiver into real medical homes and comprehensive coverage, including through coverage expansion that could bring Texas 90% federal funding.  That could take a huge bite out of Texas’ worst-in-nation uninsured ranking.”

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