Texas officials hope President Donald Trump's administration will be more receptive to allowing the state to maintain funds that fund care for the uninsured.
Texas state officials want a 21-month extension waiver that will help cover the unpaid bills of Medicaid-eligible and uninsured patients in the state.
The waiver provides $4 billion a year for the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program, which covers providers' uncompensated-care bills. It also includes a Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment, or DSRIP, which encourages providers to adopt innovative programs that raise the quality and cost-effectiveness of care.
Texas' waiver, which began in 2011, was set to expire Dec. 31, after the CMS granted a short-term extension last spring. President Barack Obama's administration had been against continued funding of an uncompensated-care pool for states because Medicaid expansion was supposed to make the pool obsolete.
But conservative lawmakers in states such as Texas have rejected Medicaid expansion. Now with Trump in charge and the possibility of repeal of the Affordable Care Act looming, Texas is hoping to continue to get funds at current levels through Sept. 30, 2019. By then, the state says it hopes to submit a new waiver or block grant proposal that will allow more flexibility in how the state oversees its Medicaid program and funds.