The Trump administration said Monday that it will not approve Kansas’ request to impose a new lifetime limit on Medicaid benefits.
“We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said.
The background: Kansas is one of five Republican-led states looking to cap the amount of time a resident could be covered by Medicaid. The state had sought to create a three-year limit.
Democrats had questioned the legality of lifetime limits and argued that creating arbitrary caps on coverage would be a cruel blow to low-income Americans who might need the health care safety net. And some health care providers in Kansas had warned that a lifetime limit would raise the state’s uninsured rate and lead to higher uncompensated costs for hospitals.
Why it matters: The Trump administration and Verma have allowed states to make some sweeping changes to Medicaid, including the introduction of work requirements. The rejection of Kansas’ proposal indicates that there will be limits to conservative changes the administration will allow.