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Federal Government Puts Medicaid Reforms on Hold

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 19, 2011 4:30PM

Climate change is no problem with a fluffy dog like the one in Mark Kirk's arms, in this photo via ALA Washington Office.

The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put the brakes on new Medicaid requirements Illinois put in place in the hopes of preventing fraud. Illinois Statehouse News reports the reforms, passed in January, violate federal rules that are part of President Obama’s health care reform package, which prohibit states from changing Medicaid eligibility requirements. The reforms would require recipients to prove they earn within 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep Judy Biggert (R-IL) and ten other legislators sent a letter to CMMS yesterday, saying “This program is under stress and would be strengthened if measures were taken to ensure funding for intended families by excluding fraud that grants taxpayer funding to people who are not low-income or were not from Illinois,” according to Fox News. Kirk said later in a statement “Unfortunately, the federal government is insisting on eliminating these anti-fraud measures, weakening the financial future of Medicaid,” and suggested the reforms would save Illinois $800 million.

A spokesperson for CMMS said Monday that they’re working on alternate solutions, including the use of electronic data and verification sources.