Washington Independent: Finance Dems Block GOP Effort to Kill Medicaid Expansion (Again)


Washington Independent reports the following:

Republicans
on the Senate Finance Committee have come up with all sorts of
approaches designed to kill the Democrats’ plans to expand Medicaid to
cover most everyone living beneath 133 percent of the poverty line, or
roughly $29,000 for a family of four.

The latest attempt came late Wednesday from Sen. John Cornyn
(R-Texas), who pushed an amendment hinging the Medicaid expansion on
efforts to rein in program fraud — a problem highlighted by today’s government report
revealing that thousands of people have had their prescriptions filled
under Medicaid despite the inconvenient fact that they were dead at the
time.

Currently, Medicaid fraud represents 10.5 percent of program
spending, Cornyn said, citing figures from the Department of Health and
Human Services — a considerable sum considering that Medicaid spending
topped $330 billion last year. Under the Cornyn amendment, Medicaid
officials would have to pull the fraud figure down to 3.9 percent of
program spending before the Democrats’ program expansion would kick in.

Democrats didn’t bite. While a worthy goal, they said, the proposal
would punish those in line to become newly eligible for Medicaid
coverage under the expansion to 133 percent of poverty.

The Cornyn amendment failed 10 to 13, along strict party lines.

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