Posted by on May 27, 2023 5:48 am
Categories: News The Hill

Tens of thousands of people are losing Medicaid coverage 

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 The Big Story 

Tens of thousands of people are losing Medicaid coverage 

Tens of thousands of low-income Americans lost Medicaid coverage in the past month as states rushed ahead with dismantling the massive safety net enacted during the height of the pandemic. 

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A provision in a 2020 coronavirus relief package prohibited states from kicking anyone off of Medicaid, regardless of whether or not they were still eligible. But that provision ended last month.

Initial data from some of the states that already started the process shows that thousands of people are falling through the cracks, losing coverage because of “procedural” problems.

This means that even though they may still qualify for Medicaid, they were kicked off coverage because the state didn’t know if they were eligible. Maybe they moved and the state couldn’t find them, or their income was reported incorrectly in the state database.

The Biden administration projected that about 15 million people will lose coverage, including nearly 7 million people who are expected to be dropped despite still being eligible because of administrative barriers like lost or incomplete paperwork.

States have a year to go through the once-routine process of sorting through Medicaid rolls, though some are moving much faster.


Advocates have warned of chaos even under the best circumstances, but especially if states move quickly and don’t put a lot of effort into figuring out if people are eligible.

Arkansas for instance is speeding through the redetermination process in only six months, citing cost concerns and the goal of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) to push people to “escape the trap of government dependency.” 

In the first month, about 73,000 people lost coverage in Arkansas, including about 27,000 children 17 and under. According to an analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, approximately 80 percent of the terminations were for procedural reasons.

In Florida, more than half of the people who had their eligibility checked last month had their Medicaid coverage terminated.

Welcome to The Hill’s Health Care newsletter, we’re Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi — every week we follow the latest moves on how Washington impacts your health.

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Essential Reads 

How policy will be impacting the health care sector this week and beyond:

A South Carolina judge Friday temporarily blocked the state’s new law that would ban most abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. The injunction will remain in effect until the state Supreme Court can review the measure. The ruling comes just one day after the law took effect following Gov. Henry McMaster’s (R) signature. The decision means the state will …

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On Our Radar 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

As of writing, we are now heading into Memorial Day weekend with no deal on raising the debt ceiling. House lawmakers have left town for the long weekend but could be recalled to vote on an agreement if one is reached.

The Hill event 

Cancer Care Access & Equity: Breaking Barriers to Innovation, June 8, 2-3 p.m. ET

We live in a groundbreaking era of innovation in oncology, yet cancer continues to be the second leading cause of death in the United States. What obstacles stand in the way of optimal cancer care?   


The Hill will bring together policymakers, health experts and patient advocates to discuss the changes to the cancer care delivery system, with the following speakers: Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Co-Chair of the Cancer Caucus and member of the House Ways & Means Committee; Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Co-Chair of the Cancer Caucus and Senior Member of the House Ways & Means Committee; and Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society.

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

New York City outlaws discrimination on the basis of weight, height

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation Friday that will ban discrimination based on body size by adding weight and height to the list of protected categories such as race, sex and religion. “We all deserve the same access to employment, housing and public accommodation, regardless of our appearance, and it shouldn’t …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines on health care:

Oregon Health Authority says so far most people will keep Medicaid as eligibility checks resume (The Lund Report)
Medical students need consent before pelvic exams on sedated patients, Colorado law says (USA Today)
Bill to legalize ‘medical aid in dying’ for terminally ill patients clears Nevada Legislature (Nevada Current)

What We’re Reading 

Health news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

Some hoped a new oral vaccine would solve all the polio campaign’s problems. Reality is settling in (Stat)
A catch-22 for clinics: State bans limit abortion counseling. Federal Title X rules require it. (KFF Health News)
As colorectal cancer rises among younger adults, some seek colonoscopies earlier (CNN)

What Others are Reading 

Most read stories on The Hill right now:

Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday notified lawmakers the nation will run out of money to pay its bills by June 5 if they do not raise the debt ceiling.

Read more

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) said her predecessor, Republican Doug Ducey, misappropriated $50 million that the federal government provided to the state through the American Rescue Plan. 

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What People Think 

Opinions related to health submitted to The Hill:

You’re all caught up. See you Tuesday! 

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