State Fiscal Relief
Protecting Health Coverage in an Economic Downturn

Thank you for the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee on Health as you consider a proposal to temporarily increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to provide additional federal assistance to the states to cover the costs of their Medicaid programs. For the purposes of this testimony I will take it as given that the Congress wishes to provide additional support to the states and those funds can be found to do so. I will concentrate on the policy implications of the proposed method of boosting the FMAP. My position is that this is not the best approach for aiding the states and that the proposed policy will make an already flawed policy even worse. This is not in the best interests of the millions of poor and disabled Americans that the Medicaid program is intended to help.

To understand my objection to this approach, it is first necessary to look at how the FMAP system works, the incentives it creates for the states, and how the formula has affected the flow of federal funds to the states. . . .

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Robert B. Helms is a resident scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Robert B.
Helms
  • Robert B. Helms has served as a member of the Medicaid Commission as well as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and deputy assistant secretary for health policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An economist by training, he has written and lectured extensively on health policy and health economics, including the history of Medicare, the tax treatment of health insurance, and compared international health systems. He currently participates in the Health Policy Consensus Group, an informal task force that is developing consumer-driven health reforms. He is the author or editor of several AEI books on health policy, including Medicare in the Twenty-First Century: Seeking Fair and Efficient Reform and Competitive Strategies in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
  • Phone: 2028625877
    Email: rhelms@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Kelly Funderburk
    Phone: 202.862.5855
    Email: Kelly.Funderburk@AEI.org

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

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