Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) issued the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ decision to withdraw the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR), which would have significantly disrupted state Medicaid programs by limiting the types of financing mechanisms available for states to pay their non-federal share of Medicaid costs. In March, the Senator led a letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw the proposed rule, warning that it could have cost Nevada hospitals as much as $205 million.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Medicaid has been a lifeline for low-income Nevadans and those facing unemployment. This pandemic is far from over, and this safety net program provides families across our state with the peace of mind that they’ll be taken care of if they’re laid off. As states grapple with unprecedented budget cuts, we should be providing Medicaid programs with more flexibility and funding, not less. I’m glad that CMS listened to my concerns – and the concerns of countless stakeholders in Nevada and across the country – and withdrew this disastrous rule. I’ll continue to stand up for vulnerable Nevadans in the Senate by protecting Medicaid and ensuring health care providers have the funding they need to care for all patients.”
The Trump Administration’s Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule was a dangerous proposal to disrupt state Medicaid financing. The rule’s complex technical changes would have limited the types of financing mechanisms states can use to pay for their non-federal share of Medicaid costs. Moreover, the discretion reserved by CMS to approve or deny state proposals provided far too little clarity and certainty to states who must plan far ahead for program expenditures.