Friday, February 29, 2008

The Vulnerable Pay Again

Catholic Charities reminds that regulatory changes to Medicaid begin tomorrow. Unfortunately, people already at risk will pay the price of these changes. The message from weekly email contains a link to a recent NYT article about reactions by state governors.

February 29, 2008
Volume 3 Number 7

Medicaid Savings Will be Gained at the Cost of Services to the Vulnerable

On March 1st, regulatory changes to Medicaid will go into effect that will greatly impact low income persons receiving Medicaid. The regulatory changes will limit case management for beneficiaries leaving institutional care, force state to fragment foster care services, restrict case management for some disabled children, and limit states' flexibility to manage Medicaid funds. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) published the interim final rules on December 4, 2007.

The interim final rules seek to implement provisions approved in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 (P. L. 109-171). However, at a Congressional briefing held March 28, several state Medicaid directors stated their belief that the regulations go beyond what Congress approved in the DRA. They highlighted the devastating impact the rules will have on Medicaid beneficiaries, and discussed the state of targeted case management for vulnerable populations.

CMS estimates that the rules would reduce Medicaid spending by close to $15 billion over the next five years. State and local governments will have to bear the resulting financial responsibility, or be forced to cut back their Medicaid programs.

Catholic Charities USA supports a delay of the implementation of these regulations pending further evaluation. The regulations are set to go into effect on March 1st.

To view The New York Times' coverage of the Medicaid regulations, click

For more information, please contact Kellyann McClain, Policy Analyst,

Washington Weekly is a publication of the Social Policy Department of Catholic Charities USA and is published regularly when Congress is in session.
Catholic Charities USA
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For information about advocacy, please contact Lucreda Cobbs at (703) 236-6243 or

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