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AAMC Statement on Trump Administration Medicaid Guidance

January 30, 2020

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John Buarotti, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the Medicaid Healthy Adult Opportunity demonstration released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the recent 2019 Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR) proposed rule:

“The AAMC is concerned about any effort that would limit Medicaid beneficiary access to care, and we have strong concerns about the potential impact of the initiative released by CMS today that would give states the option to receive federal Medicaid funding in what essentially are block grants. This guidance would limit the federal government’s congressionally mandated responsibility to the Medicaid program and could result in reductions in coverage, access, and quality care for the millions of vulnerable patients who rely on this critical program.

AAMC-member teaching hospitals provide 26% of all Medicaid hospitalizations, even though these institutions represent only 5% of all hospitals in the United States. For those states that would opt to receive Medicaid funding through a block grant system, over time it could restrain the amount of funding available for beneficiaries and their families – especially in the event of an economic downturn – limiting access to new medical advances and treatments. The insufficient funding could cause states to limit enrollment, reduce critical coverage for medically vulnerable patients, or both.

The AAMC fully supports Medicaid expansion, and we also appreciate the role of states in tailoring their Medicaid programs to best suit the needs of their populations and communities. However, today’s announcement would fundamentally undermine the federal-state partnership at the heart of Medicaid that makes the program a reliable and high-quality source of coverage for everyone it serves.

Today’s guidance closely follows other CMS proposals to dramatically cut funding to Medicaid, such as the MFAR proposed rule. The MFAR would jeopardize the care of the vulnerable patients who rely on the program for vital health coverage by upending Medicaid financing in almost every state and slashing billions of dollars in federal funding. We urge the administration to withdraw both the guidance and the MFAR proposed rule without delay.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.

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