Republican lawmakers in Georgia, empowered by their native son's confirmation as HHS secretary, want to be the first in the nation to seek a per-capita cap waiver for Medicaid.
State Rep. Brad Raffensperger has introduced a resolution that would urge Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to submit a request for an 1115 waiver to transition the state's Medicaid program into a per-capita capped system. So far, the resolution has four Republican co-sponsors.
Under a per-capita model, the CMS would distribute a limited amount of federal dollars per person in the state. Spending would grow as the number of enrollees did, and the state could set eligibility, benefits and delivery system approaches however it chooses.
Raffensperger said that could allow Medicaid to expand to include people living below the poverty line, which would reduce uncompensated-care costs for hospitals.
The Georgia Hospital Association most recently estimated that its members faced $1.02 billion in uncompensated care costs for indigent Georgia citizens in 2014. That same year, 66% of rural hospitals had negative margins. In all, 41% of Georgia's hospitals ended 2014 with negative margins, according to the Georgia Hospital Association. Currently, there are about 565,000 uninsured low-income Georgians below the poverty line in a recent Deloitte study.
“Working together for both the nation's and Georgia's best interest, I believe (Deal and HHS Secretary Tom Price) can craft
the block grant-funding solution that reflects the desire of
Congress, President Trump and our conservative, fiscally responsible values,” Raffensperger said.