HHS has done a good job of inserting more transparency into the Medicaid waiver approval process and providing “waiver watchers” with an opportunity to provide our input on important health care policy decisions. One way the agency is collecting input is through the “Idea Factory” website. Now is the time to take HHS up on the offer by posting a comment and/or voting for your favorite comments on state Medicaid waivers.
Kansas has recently submitted an application for a waiver that would move just about all of its Medicaid program into managed care and would establish a pilot program to give Medicaid-eligible individuals a health savings account rather than Medicaid’s full benefits. The way Kansas is proposing to implement these changes could establish a troubling precedent for children and others covered by Medicaid and CHIP. The deadline for voting for comments or posting your own comments on the Kansas Medicaid waiver request is Friday so time is of the essence.
HHS has made it fairly easy for your opinion to be heard. Here’s a refresher course on how to use the Idea Factory:
1) Go to the Idea Factory by clicking here:
2) Click on a state Medicaid waiver section listed along the right side.
3) Review the comments and vote for those you agree with and/or post your own comment. (Each registered e-mail address gets 10 votes per topic and you may assign more than one vote to each comment.)
If you are interested in affecting positive change but don’t have the time to sift through all the comments, I suggest you take a short cut and go directly to these recommended comments on the Kansas waiver and vote for those you like (remember you have up to three votes per comment and a total of 10 votes per waiver):
No clear reason to limit choice through auto-assignment
Health Savings Account Proposal is Harmful to Children
How will savings be achieved for children and others already in managed care?
For a full description of the new waiver process, please look at the brief CCF’s Joan Alker co-authored for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid.