Experts Call on Congress To Boost Medicaid Funding

Democratic majorities in Congress and the Biden administration can move quickly to bolster Medicaid and expand enrollment in the safety net program, according to a Feb. 3 expert panel convened by the Brookings Institution. The panelists, which included policy experts, state health officials, and former CMS Deputy Administrator Vikki Wachino, observed that Medicaid can play a critical role in blunting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color and preserving states’ finances.

Medicaid’s safety-net role is more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic’s economic devastation has caused sudden, unprecedented growth in Medicaid enrollment — up 8.6% to a total of 77.3 million nationally between February 2020 and September 2020, according to a Jan. 21 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation — as well as losses in commercial insurance coverage.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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