Legislators also wanted to add a work requirement -- even though courts have thwarted that in other states. They wanted
But the mixed reaction of
The denials surprised and disheartened
"CMS was very encouraging," said state Sen.
CMS did not respond to Stateline's request for comment.
In April, CMS told
CMS made clear that its denial wasn't an indication of support for Medicaid expansion, a core feature of President
"Unfortunately," CMS wrote in July, granting the higher rate for a partial expansion "would invite continued reliance on a broken and unsustainable Obamacare system."
Late last month,
Federal officials still haven't reached a final decision on whether
"People know this administration is willing to be very flexible when it comes to things like work requirements, but they've been waiting for direction on some other things," Salo said. "It looks like
Christensen said legislators felt they had to scale back the measure voters had approved because even the sales tax increase it included wouldn't have covered the costs of a full Medicaid expansion. The state's
"People can ask for all kinds of things at the ballot box," he said, "but when it comes to paying for it, that's another thing."
Dunnigan said the current proposal does not include a cost-of-living increase for medical providers, which he said will save the state 30% of the ballot measure's projected cost.
Under its proposal,
Not all the state's proposals would cost beneficiaries money or keep people off the rolls.
But the health care advocates who spearheaded the ballot initiative last year say that on balance,
"These provisions contribute to this perception that there's a stigma associated with being in Medicaid and that it is not a welcoming program," she said.
Advocates also say the lockout provision would apply not just to people who intentionally make false claims about their eligibility, but also those who fail to promptly alert officials when a change to their family or income circumstances makes them ineligible for Medicaid. They also say the provision is unnecessary because there are criminal laws against Medicaid fraud.
The state estimates that the measure would affect about 750 people a year.
"We should be looking to pull more people into health care," she said, "not putting up obstacles."
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