By JEFFREY STEWART The American Center for Law and Justice, the Washington, D.C.-based conservative legal group, has a new opinion piece in which it contends that the administration’s recent decision to reject the White House’s proposal for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is “foolishly stupid.”
The White House, however, is saying the same thing.
The administration said on Friday that it had made a final decision not to expand Medicaid under the ACA and instead to leave that decision up to states.
The Trump administration also said that it would expand the Medicaid program to nearly 4.4 million people next year.
The White, State, and Local Government Department (WHSGD) released a statement on Friday saying that it was “in agreement with WHSGD’s position that Medicaid expansion should not be offered under the Obama-era Affordable Care Law.
WHS GD will continue to work with our federal partners to expand access to affordable health care for all Americans.”
White House spokeswoman Jessica Rosenworcel said on the phone that the WHS is “committed to working with the states and working with governors to expand coverage to the millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid, as well as expanding coverage to millions of people across the country.”
Rosenworchel said the WH is committed to working across the aisle to improve the Affordable Health Care Act and “protect the health care system for the American people.”
The White House has also made clear that it intends to expand the program in 2017.
On Wednesday, WHSD Chief of Staff Jason Miller told reporters that WHS will “continue to work to expand health coverage for all American citizens.”
On Friday, Rosenworscheids statement said that the White Houses “preferred to not expand Medicaid coverage under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, but instead to focus on states that have taken steps to expand their health care systems and meet the requirements of the ACA.”
The WHS said that as of Jan. 1, the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid was 7.5 million, up slightly from the 6.2 million who were eligible last year.
The White house said it will work with governors across the nation to expand enrollment and meet ACA requirements.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Saturday that the decision “is a sensible approach that is in keeping with our principles as a country.”
“The WH is proud of the work that governors and states have done to expand state Medicaid programs, and as we look ahead, we will continue the conversations to ensure that Americans can get the health coverage they need and deserve,” he said in a statement.
Whitehouse spokesman Jason Miller said the administration “continues to work closely with governors and their states to improve access to health care and protect the health of the American public.
This administration is committed that all Americans have access to the care and resources they need, regardless of income or geographic location.”
On Thursday, the WH was asked by reporters why it is “not in favor of expanding Medicaid under this program.”
“We have no interest in expanding Medicaid,” Miller said.
“I’m not sure where the line is drawn there.
This is a very, very good example of how we can make sure that Medicaid is available to all Americans regardless of their ability to pay for it.
It’s not going to affect the amount of people on the program, it’s not gonna impact the coverage they have, it doesn’t affect the cost, and we’re confident that the states are going to be able to work collaboratively to ensure this is a program that works for them.”
Miller said the Whitehouse was “skeptical” that the ACA “gave people a path to access to coverage.”
“Our belief is that it’s a program, not a mandate.
So if we’re not in favor, we’ll have to have a discussion with the governors about whether we can expand Medicaid, and what the costs are, and how we’ll work with them,” he added.
A spokesperson for WHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The WH has been pushing to expand eligibility under the health law.
It has been working to expand that program since it began in 2014, and it expanded it to about 2 million people last year, including more than half a million children.
But it has not made any decisions on how to expand to all the 1.8 million people who currently qualify.