Your comments are needed!
On August 1, 2019, the State of Utah – at the direction of the Governor and Legislature – submitted a new application for a Medicaid expansion waiver entitled “Per Capita Cap,” part of a series of proposals that would lead to cuts for Utahns’ health care and coverage and will put the Utah Medicaid program at risk, including:
- Additional work reporting requirements for enrollees
- Limits to the number of people who can enroll in Medicaid
- Funding cuts to the Medicaid program overall
What is a Per Capita Cap?
This is a mechanism that limits the amount of federal dollars that can come in to the state for the Medicaid program. This is good for predicting federal spending on Medicaid, but bad for the states, as the caps do not allow for increases in health care costs, which currently are rising at a very rapid rate.
Why is it a problem?
- Under a per capita cap structure, the state receives a limited amount of federal dollars (like in a block grant), and in exchange, receives permission to make cuts to Medicaid that are normally not allowable.
- Per capita caps make it harder to provide services during emergencies or economic recession
- Per capita caps negatively impact the people who need services the most, such as low-income seniors and people with disabilities
Comments are the best way to defeat these harmful proposed changes to Utah Medicaid!
In order to make these changes, the state is required to apply for a variety of waivers to the federal government asking permission to implement the alterations that are not consistent with current federal guidelines. The federal and state government are required to consider all comments on these waiver applications. If they don’t, then the proposal can be overturned through legal action. Comments are the reason a similar Medicaid proposal in Kentucky was stopped in its tracks.
Further, if the federal government denies waivers to implement these changes, the Legislature’s own bill includes a fallback plan that would cause the state to resort to FULL Medicaid expansion — like Utah voters originally wanted.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Submit a public comment on the proposed changes to Medicaid in Utah BEFORE SEPT. 15 by clicking here.
You can read more about per capita caps here.