Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LeMieux Amendment (#3586) on Members on Medicaid

Senator LeMieux has offered an amendment (#3586) regarding Medicaid coverage for Members of Congress.  
  • The amendment makes Members of Congress ineligible for health insurance coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), makes Members eligible to enroll in Medicaid, and provides that employer contributions made by the Office of Personnel Management on behalf of Members of Congress may be paid to state Medicaid agencies to subsidize Members’ coverage.
  • The health law requires health benefits for Members of Congress and their staff to be provided through the Exchange instead of FEHBP effective in 2014 (when the Exchanges take effect).  The amendment would take effect on the date of the reconciliation bill’s enactment.
  • According to the CBO score of the health law and reconciliation bill, half of the reduction in the number of uninsured – 16 million total – comes from an expansion of Medicaid.
  • President Obama recently admitted that Medicaid suffers from access problems due to inadequate reimbursement levels.  While the reconciliation bill provides increases in primary care reimbursement, those provisions apply to 2013 and 2014 only, and will result in an average 50% cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates in 2015.