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Capitol Correspondence - 08.20.18

Senator Hirono Introduces Bill to Prevent Medicaid and Medicare from Being Changed During Reconciliation Process

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Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced a bill, S. 3330, that would prevent Medicaid and Medicare from being changed in the expedited budget process known as reconciliation. This was the primary mechanism by which GOP members of Congress attempted advance health care reform legislation to block grant Medicaid as part of its 2017 health care reform.

The bill states:

“IN GENERAL.—It shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any reconciliation bill or reconciliation resolution reported pursuant to a concurrent resolution on the budget agreed to under section 301 or 304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that would—

(A) increase the eligibility age under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.);

(B) privatize or turn the Medicare program into a voucher system;

(C) block grant the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), impose per capita spending caps on State plans under such title, or decrease coverage under such program from current levels; or

(D) reduce or eliminate the ability of States to provide comprehensive and affordable health coverage through medical assistance to low-income, non-elderly individuals as established under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII)).”

The bill has 15 Democratic sponsors. While we do not expect this bill to gain bipartisan political traction due to the upcoming election, ANCOR will be monitoring S. 3330 and will report any developments to membership.