April 12, 2016
The Honorable Mark Warner
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Warner:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to endorse your legislation, the States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act. The bill would provide a higher level of federal Medicaid funding for states that did not choose to expand Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was first launched in 2014. Under current law, states choosing to expand coverage after 2014 receive a lower federal matching rate for this newly covered population than those that expanded immediately.
Medicaid provides public health insurance to seniors, people with disabilities and children with low incomes. Under the ACA, states can receive generous federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage to uninsured adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,724 for a family of three). For states that chose to expand immediately, when the ACA was first implemented in 2014, the federal government covers the full cost of expansion for three years, phasing down to a 90 percent match rate for the sixth year of the expansion and in subsequent years. Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have opted for Medicaid expansion, while several other states are exploring ways to expand their programs. The National Committee believes that states should be encouraged to expand their Medicaid programs, which would benefit low-income adults, hospitals, and local economies.
Your legislation would provide further incentive to states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs to do so while providing more funding to states that have expanded their Medicaid programs post-2014 to implement their programs. The National Committee supports both of these aims and applauds your leadership in developing legislation that rewards states for expanding their Medicaid programs.
President and CEO