Charles Arlinghaus: Bad timing makes GOP plan same as Dems'
The largest newly eligible population under this scenario would consist of childless adults who are not covered at any income level today. About 135,000 people are currently covered by Medicaid. The proposed expansion would increase that total by as much as 50 percent.
In the first year of their plan, Senate Republicans would do the same thing. They call it a bridge program but it is specified in the law as the same Medicaid coverage offered by the same Medicaid managed care companies and paid for with the same Medicaid dollars. There is no difference.
Medicaid rules are set in Washington. To design our own program or make any significant change, we need to ask the federal government for permission or a "waiver" of the specific regulations. Waivers are often granted for little things but are rarely granted for large scale approaches that differ from what the administration then in power wishes.
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