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.