In March, Congress temporarily raised the share of Medicaid costs that the federal government will pay, in response to COVID-19. This short-term step granted states welcome fiscal relief, but as the depth of the economic crisis becomes clearer, so does the need for additional and more-targeted support.
In a new blog post published for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Manatt Health’s Cindy Mann, partner, and Elizabeth E. Dervan, associate, suggest that Congress consider additional increases in the federal share of Medicaid costs linked to the expectation that states maintain eligibility standards. They state that the duration should be tied to state economic conditions and this approach ought to be made a permanent part of Medicaid’s financing structure. They highlight three key arguments in favor of adopting this policy:
- The economic fallout of COVID-19 is on track to be worse than that of the Great Recession.
- The economic crisis is likely to be prolonged, with an uneven recovery.
- Without a permanent fix, there is no guarantee that fiscal relief and coverage protections will be in place in the next recession, which may include a downturn associated with a new surge in COVID-19 infections.
To read the full blog post, click here.