Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) introduced the Medicaid Saves Lives Act on July 12, which would create a new option to provide health care coverage to individuals with low incomes in non-Medicaid expansion states.
The legislation would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create and administer a Medicaid look-alike program to provide the same benefits as Medicaid in the 12 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also would increase the incentives in the American Rescue Plan [refer to Washington Highlights, March 12] for non-expansion states to adopt Medicaid expansion under the ACA by providing a 10 percentage point increase in the federal medical assistance percentage for 10 years for these states.
This bill follows previous requests from Sens. Ossoff and Warnock for congressional leaders to include a provision to close the coverage gap in non-expansion states in any future recovery package. Earlier this week, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) indicated that the Senate’s budget resolution [see related story] will include funding to address this issue.