Tennessee’s General Assembly approved the Medicaid waiver, granting the state to apply federal healthcare funding to an aggregate gap model of spending. The legislature filed the bill when it first convened on Tuesday. Just three days after the bill’s introduction, legislators took their final votes on Thursday and Friday. The six subcommittees who reviewed the waiver all recommended its passage over the course of a few days.
The waiver allows the state to establish a self-imposed, fixed budget to last over a ten-year period, known as TennCareIII. It also allows the state to reserve a portion of the unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with potential for those savings to be matched with additional federal funds for healthcare programs. Read More
Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) submitted a letter to President-elect Joe Biden requesting the revocation of the recently-approved TennCareIII. In his concluding remarks, Cooper claimed that the agreement was unethical and accompanied by potentially criminal affairs.
“There is still information surfacing about this unprecedented waiver, including secret side agreements that are unprecedented and probably illegal,” wrote Cooper. “As we learn more, enabling us to further evaluate our state’s cruelty to its deserving poor and its vulnerable hospitals, I will be back in touch with you.” Read More
The federal government approved Tennessee’s proposed Medicaid aggregate cap, granting a lump sum for a self-imposed, fixed budget. The ten-year agreement, referred to as “TennCare III,” is the first of its kind nationwide. It also allows for the state to reserve any unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with up to 55 percent of those savings potentially matched by additional federal funds for state health programs.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described the measure as an “innovative financing approach.” Unlike what various reports claimed, federal officials explicitly stated that this agreement wasn’t a block grant. This agreement allows the state government to be flexible with its spending cap under certain circumstances – like last year’s pandemic and related unemployment crisis. Read More
The Trump administration is expected to announce that the eventual coronavirus vaccine will be covered by Medicare and Medicaid, Politico reported late Monday.
The administration is expected to change a rule that previously prevented Medicare and Medicaid from covering vaccines that received emergency use authorization from the FDA. The official announcement is expected from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Politico. Read More
Republican challenger Scott Taylor and incumbent Representative Elaine Luria (D-Virginia Beach) faced off Tuesday night in their first televised debate. The 2nd Congressional District race is currently a toss-up. Read More
Political reporter Joe St. George served as the moderator. Questions featured were presented in three segments: from the moderator first, then viewers, and lastly from Taylor and Luria.
The Affordable Care Act mandated that states accept a hospitals’ decision on the eligibility of all able-bodied adults who verbally report their income to be below the Medicaid level, which has led to many fraudulent eligibility claims, according to a report published Monday.
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) report examined recently released data from state Medicaid agencies. It specifically looked at the government Medicaid funds that were wasted through false hospitals’ presumptive eligibility (HPE) determinations. Read More
Earlier this year James Payne, a 73-year-old retired attorney in Utah, was so fed up with the high cost of a blood thinner medication he takes, he researched prices in Canada, where he found it was cheaper.
“Under Medicare, I am now paying $225 for a three-month supply,” Payne explained. “That’s $25 more than I was paying last year. Under my employer’s insurance I was only paying $20.” Payne says he is not sure why the costs are so much higher and continue to climb under Medicare, but he thinks there must be ways to make life-saving medications more affordable. Read More
The federal government has granted more flexibility to TennCare – Tennessee’s state Medicaid program – to help the state handle the COVID-19 outbreak. Read More
Michigan’s U.S. senators sent a letter to the Trump administration Friday requesting a special health insurance enrollment window in response the coronavirus outbreak. Read More
A federal court ruled on Tuesday that Michigan’s work requirements for its Medicaid program are unlawful. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion on Tuesday for a partial summary judgement in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia after work requirements for Medicaid in Arkansas, similar to Michigan’s program, were found to be unlawful. Read More
A panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court’s decision Friday blocking the Trump administration’s work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Read More
Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken wrote an error-riddled apologetics letter sent by email on Thursday to party members defending Gov. Mike DeWine’s refugee resettlement policy. Read More
The service provider Paramount will be dropping its Medicaid coverage in central and southeast Ohio after facing financial losses. It will continue to provide Medicaid coverage in the west and the northeast. Read More
In a radio interview with LaVern Vivio on WDBL radio in Springfield on Tuesday, State Rep. Sabi ‘Doc’ Kumar, R-Springfield, said he wants to expand Medicaid and make forced savings payroll deductions mandatory. Read More
In 2015, when Medicare and Medicaid turned 50, Investors Business Daily pointed out that one was going bankrupt (Medicare), the other was bankrupting states (Medicaid). Read More
Tennessee Comptrollers have called out yet another assisted living facility for spending Medicaid dollars in ways not legally allowed, this time to the tune of nearly $96,000. Read More
According to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability office, the federal government wasted almost $12 billion taxpayer dollars on people who took Medicaid — but weren’t eligible. Read More
The House TennCare Subcommittee took on the controversial topic of the block grant proposal, hearing from key stakeholders in a two-hour summer study conducted last Thursday. Read More
Tennessee Comptrollers say staff members at two health care facilities in the state billed Medicaid for a lot more than legally allowed, and taxpayers lost money as a result. Read More
Tennessee became the first state in the nation Tuesday to propose that $7.9 billion in federal funding for the state’s Medicaid program, known as TennCare, would be provided through a block grant.
The release of the 34-page proposal, TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42, begins a 30-day public comment period, which will end on October 18, 2019. Read More
More than 500,000 people enrolled in Medicaid through expansion in nine states though their income made them ineligible for the program, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found. Read More
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Bursch Law PLLC filed a petition for rehearing by the entire Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals bench of a two-judge panel opinion dismissing Tennessee’s challenge to the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program for lack of standing. Read More
Tennessee taxpayers lost more than $3 million after a corporate-run nursing facility billed the state that much money for expenses not covered under Medicaid. This, according to a new audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week. That corporation, AltaCare, is based out of Alpharetta, Georgia, according to Comptrollers. “The audit… Read More
Employees at an Oak Ridge health care facility billed Medicaid more than $25,000 for items that Medicaid wasn’t supposed to cover. Read More
by Kaylee Greene The California Assembly voted 44-11 in favor of a bill last week that broadens state Medicaid coverage to include illegal immigrants to the tune of more than $3 billion annually. Under federal law, Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, provides health care to low-income citizens. Assembly Bill… Read More
U.S. Rep. Dr. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) on Tuesday introduced a bill to give Medicaid recipients more choice and power in their healthcare decisions. The Medicaid Improvement and State Flexibility Act would authorize states to begin pilot programs giving Medicaid recipients a “swipe card” with dollars on it designated… Read More
by Bethany Blankley A final rule change has been implemented by the Trump administration to ensure that Medicaid providers receive complete payments as required by law. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Medicaid Provider Reassignment Regulation… Read More
A progressive social justice warrior-community organizer has labeled the entire State of Tennessee as racist with the aid of The Tennessean, which ran her ranting op-ed Wednesday. Aftyn Behn describes herself as the statewide organizer of Indivisible for Tennessee and Kentucky. Her op-ed blaming the state – especially the General… Read More
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Ohio’s work rules for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicare Friday. Obamacare included a requirement that all 50 states expand Medicare eligibility to cover every individual whose income was up to 133 percent of the poverty line by January 1, 2014. In 2012, in a… Read More
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee reportedly wants more people to fight Medicaid fraud. Specifically, according to LocalMemphis.com, Lee wants more Tennessee Bureau of Investigation staff members on the trail of Medicaid fraud. “The TBI director hopes lawmakers approve a request for 26-more staffers in the agency’s Medicaid fraud control unit,”… Read More
by Jarrett Stepman Democrats defeated Republicans in the Obamacare repeal fight by warning that 22 million Americans would be thrown off their health insurance. They pointed to data leaked from the Congressional Budget Office. Well, it turns out that data was completely wrong. According to a report by the… Read More
Several of Tennessee’s mainstream media outlets seem to continue a drumbeat for Medicaid expansion in the state, even though some groups have long said it’s a bad idea. In the past several weeks Nashville Public Radio and The Daily Memphian, among others, have promoted the idea of expanding Medicaid in the… Read More
by Kevin Daley The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction forbidding Texas from stripping Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds Thursday, while stridently criticizing the abortion provider for its rhetoric and medical practices. “Planned Parenthood’s reprehensible conduct, captured in undercover videos, proves that it is not a… Read More
A fraud scheme perpetrated on taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid began to unravel with an anonymous tip alerting officials “that some Iraqis were fraudulently receiving home care services,” says a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report from earlier this month. Investigators examined billing records from several home health care companies that provide services to the… Read More
A new report issued last week by the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor found that the Department of Human Services (DHS) provided Medical Assistance (MA), or Medicaid, benefits to ineligible residents. While the report concluded that the DHS “generally complied” with eligibility requirements, there were numerous instances in which… Read More
by Kevin Daley The Supreme Court declined to review three cases relating to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood at the state level Monday, over a vigorous dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas. The dissent was significant because it indicates that Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the high court’s liberal… Read More
TennCare gave out more than $700,000 to duplicate members and also to people who were already dead or incarcerated, according to a new state audit. All of those recipients were ineligible to receive TennCare money. The findings, released late last week, cover July 2016 through December 2017. Generally, TennCare must… Read More
Mainstream media outlets across Tennessee continue to beat the drum for expanding Medicaid, hoping to sway most Volunteer State residents to see things their way. But, as The Tennessee Star reported, expanding Medicaid brings peril. A recent Tennessean article tried to make the case for expanded Medicaid. Opinion pieces in… Read More
by State Senator Dr. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) In my third and final op-ed on the healthcare crisis facing America, I’ll discuss the last major problem causing the crisis as well as a solution to address it. You can read part one here, and part two here. Liability reform is… Read More
In a new op-ed, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free-market think tank, warned all Tennessee officials to resist temptations to expand Medicaid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, for instance, is one of many politicians who want to make it happen. Beacon Executive Vice President… Read More
by State Senator Dr. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) The healthcare crisis in America is rightly one of the top issues on voters’ minds this election cycle. Unfortunately, missing from all the political rhetoric from most candidates is what is actually causing it. This is my second article in a three-part… Read More
A Knoxville nursing facility improperly billed Medicaid more than $20,000 for non-allowable expenses, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week. That’s minuscule, though, compared to the massive amount of money Medicaid loses nationwide on improper payments. “In 2015, improper payments alone—which include things like payment for non-covered services… Read More
Dear Tennessee Star, During the U.S. Senate debate I was glad to see Congressman Marsha Blackburn speak out against single payer healthcare. Being in the healthcare industry professionally since 1980 and now as a health consultant focused on health care legislation and helping companies and individuals navigate health care costs,… Read More
Tennessee officials may soon have the power to stop Medicaid dollars from going to clinics in Tennessee that perform abortions. This is meant to curb the power and influence of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, according to a new article in Bloomberg. “The move signals growing GOP interest in using administrative… Read More
In a risky political move, Rep. Dave Joyce recently tried to distance himself from President Trump in a congressional district that the president won by 12 percentage points in the 2016 Election. Joyce, who is seeking reelection in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, recently released an ad in which he touts… Read More
by Kalena Bruce Last month, the Trump administration took a concrete step to lower skyrocketing health care costs for middle-class families like mine. The Department of Labor issued a final rule expanding association health plans, which allow small businesses like my farm to band together with others to negotiate bulk rates… Read More
Gov. Matt Bevin said Monday that Kentucky’s new work requirements repurposes Medicaid for those who are truly in need, just as the program originally intended. Mr. Bevin, Kentucky Republican, said Medicaid has expanded far beyond those who are unable to work and receive medical coverage through an employer, and now… Read More
Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky, a Republican, announced in a news conference on Friday that Kentucky Medicaid recipients will have to either work or be in a jobs training program to continue receiving benefits. Bevin’s announcement comes just days after the Trump administration said it will allow states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients,… Read More
The Trump Administration signaled Thursday that it would once again allow states to impose work requirements for some Medicaid recipients. Gubernatorial hopeful Representative Diane Black (R-TN-06) released a statement supporting the decision: As Chairman of the Budget Committee, I have pushed for work requirements for able-bodied, adult Medicaid recipients. I’m… Read More