Cummings and Krishnamoorthi Seek Subpoena for HHS and CMS Docs on Proposed Medicaid Work Requirements
Cummings and Krishnamoorthi Seek
Subpoena for HHS and CMS Docs on
Proposed Medicaid Work Requirements
Washington, DC (Sept. 20, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules, sent a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy seeking a subpoena for documents the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are withholding regarding the Trump Administration’s continued push for states to impose work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries.
“Because these proposed work requirements have not been adequately thought through, they could cause many low-income Americans and their families to lose their health insurance simply by complying with these new requirements,” the Ranking Members wrote. “This is a perverse result that even the proponents of these new requirements should oppose.”
On August 23, 2018, Cummings and Krishnamoorthi wrote to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma requesting information and documents regarding potential coverage losses that low-income Americans and their families may face as a result of proposed Medicaid work requirements.
“In response to our request, neither HHS nor CMS produced any of the documents and information we requested,” the Ranking Members wrote. “It is imperative that the documents we requested in our August 23, 2018, letter be produced to Congress so we can understand the potential impacts of the Trump Administration’s efforts to impose work requirements on low-income Americans across the country.”
The Ranking Members cited the example of Mississippi, which has proposed requiring Medicaid beneficiaries to work at least 20 hours per week. A mother working 20 hours per week at minimum wage in Mississippi would earn $580 per month. This would make her ineligible for Medicaid because her monthly earnings would exceed the state’s threshold for Medicaid eligibility by $113. Approximately 91% of Medicaid beneficiaries who are parents in Mississippi are mothers, and 71% are black, according to the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University.
Recently, more than 4,300 Arkansans were dropped from the state’s Medicaid program this month alone for failing to comply with work requirements, and even more are expected to lose their coverage next month.
Cummings and Krishnamoorthi asked Gowdy to issue a subpoena to compel the HHS and CMS to produce the documents or, if Gowdy chose not to issue this subpoena himself, that he place this matter on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled business meeting so all Committee Members have the opportunity to vote on a motion to issue this subpoena.
Click here to read today’s letter.