It’s hard to predict precisely how the puzzle pieces will eventually fall. Yet Republicans made it clear last week that – one way or another – the 52-year-old Medicaid program for the poor and disabled is headed for significant changes in the coming year.
Although President Trump promised during the campaign that he would protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security from budget cuts or radical changes, Medicaid was put into play by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other conservatives in drafting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The fate of that legislation is in doubt, with both conservatives and moderates raising strong objections to a bill likely to come up for a vote this week in the House.
Even if that legislation fails – or undergoes significant change – the Trump administration and House Republicans are working on separate legislation and administrative actions that would significantly tighten state eligibility regulations and impose new requirements including that able-bodied beneficiaries find work or pay for part of their health coverage.
– The Fiscal Times