Ellen Bonner Quoted in “Tennessee’s Medicaid Plan Might Be More About Politics Than Policy”

Modern Healthcare

Ellen Bonner, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Nashville office, was quoted in Modern Healthcare, in “Tennessee’s Medicaid Plan Might Be More About Politics Than Policy,” by Michael Brady. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Tennessee’s recent proposal to turn its Medicaid system into a block-grant program raises more questions than it answers, and some experts think the move is more about politics and philosophy than it is about policy.

State officials unveiled the plan in September, claiming that Tennessee could provide its Medicaid-eligible population with quality healthcare coverage at lower cost if the CMS granted it more flexibility in how it provides low-income people with health insurance. The state had planned to ask the federal government to allow it to change or cut certain benefits and use the cost savings to pay for other coverage or services. But that part never made it to the CMS following pushback from patient advocates, legal experts and other stakeholders. …

The state could face other legal hurdles if it’s aiming to provide Medicaid coverage by subsidizing employer-based coverage or through the exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.

“There are numerous other grant proposal elements that could trigger a legal challenge,” said Ellen Bonner, a healthcare attorney with Epstein Becker Green.