Rep. Mark Green Introduces Bill That Would Give Medicaid Recipients Prepaid Swipe Cards for Medical Purchases

Tennessee Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-07) re-introduced the Medicaid Improvement and State Flexibility Act in the 118th Congress on Monday.

Green’s bill would authorize states to “begin pilot programs that give Medicaid recipients a swipe card with dollars on it designed for medical purchases,” with the remaining balance on the card returned to the holder at the end of the year in the form of an Earned Income Tax Credit.

The swipe cards would be similar to EBT cards used by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.

The bill, H.R.629, would amend Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.

Green’s proposed swipe card policy is “similar to health savings accounts in private insurance,” where patients would be in control of spending, and, as a result, reduce healthcare spending, according to the Tennessee congressman.

An additional benefit of the pilot programs, according to Green, is that physicians would be paid immediately without the need for “costly and time-consuming claims processing,” which would “further lower the cost of healthcare and encourage physicians to compete for patients.”

Green originally introduced the bill in 2019 during the 116th Congress. At the time, the bill earned the support of The Heritage Foundation.

“This legislation allows states to innovate and provide better solutions for those on Medicaid,” Green said in a statement. “A swipe card designed for medical purchases, coupled with a catastrophic insurance plan, gives Medicaid recipients direct control over their healthcare spending while maintaining a safety net. This will improve quality of care and drive down costs.”

“For states that want flexibility to test pilot programs to better serve those on Medicaid, my bill is a no-brainer,” Green added.

Once introduced, Green’s bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

During his tenure as a Tennessee state senator, Green proposed a similar resolution that would have introduced a pilot program for Medicaid recipients called TennCare Opt Out. The resolution passed the Tennessee General Assembly but has not received federal approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as previously reported by The Tennessee Star.

– – –

Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Mark Green” by United States Congress.


Related posts

4 Thoughts to “Rep. Mark Green Introduces Bill That Would Give Medicaid Recipients Prepaid Swipe Cards for Medical Purchases”

  1. LM

    So , they can buy beer and cigarettes with their Medicaid card?

  2. Joe Blow

    Sorry, I guess I am dense but the explanation of how this would work as described by this article is as clear as mud. No way I would support this without better information.

  3. Jay Are

    Dual party duplicity hiding the expiration date on which taxpayers and production free debt backed currency that pay the medical and all the rest of the bills for dual constituencies of non-working or barely working non-tax paying, tax dependent voters, fails. That’s the day Americans turn into shanty dwelling Cubans sitting in the dirt, waiting for a monthly 30 dollar welfare check and a prosperity producing miracle that doesn’t involve productively working for a living.

  4. JRin

    Gee, what could possibly go wrong? We might as well just save the paperwork and directly flush $Billions down the toilet.