CDF-TX Statement on CMS Announcement Rescinding Texas’ 1115 Medicaid Waiver Extension

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the agency is rescinding its approval of a 10-year extension to Texas’ Medicaid 1115 Transformation waiver, which was granted by the outgoing Trump administration. Texas can re-submit its request, but the state will have to conduct the required public notice and comment process that did not occur before its previous submittal.
“This action from CMS is not entirely surprising. Several elements in this waiver – including its exemption of required public notice and comment periods, and the unusual length of the extension – were significant departures from the normal waiver process and the regulations that guide it,” said Patrick Bresette, CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas.
Bresette’s full statement:

“The good news is that the waiver remains in place through at least Sept. 30, 2022, giving the state and stakeholders plenty of time to resubmit a waiver that reflects the best path forward for Texas while protecting crucial funding for our hospitals and health systems.

“The Governor, the Legislature and stakeholders across the state should look at this as an opportunity to get an even better deal for Texas and Texans; one that pulls down more federal dollars, helps more vulnerable Texans by increasing health coverage options, and continues to keep our hospital whole.

“It is also important to remember that the waiver was always intended to serve as a temporary bridge until the state implemented a coverage option–with federal Medicaid expansion funds–for low-wage workers whose jobs don’t provide health insurance.

“Now would be a good time to have a real conversation about Medicaid expansion in the current legislative session.”

–Patrick Bresette, CEO, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas