Judge Sides With Texas Over Biden in Medicaid Waiver Fight

A federal judge ruled on Aug. 20 that the Biden administration should not have cancelled Texas’ application for a Medicaid waiver that would give the state billions in federal funds to compensate providers for care provided to uninsured patients. While the ruling can be appealed, the future shape of Texas’ unexpanded Medicaid program remains unclear.

CMS on April 16 revoked an eleventh-hour Section 1115 waiver the Trump administration had granted to Texas. CMS had approved Texas’ waiver request on Jan. 15, less than a week before the end of the Trump administration. The waiver would have sent about $11.4 billion to Texas annually in order for the state to compensate providers for unreimbursed care. The Trump administration approved the waiver for 10 years, a term that experts say is unusually long. Health care insiders said in April that CMS’s move to cancel the waiver was an attempt by the Biden administration to push Texas to expand Medicaid — although the state’s legislature had recently voted down one such proposal.

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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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