Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Support State Medicaid Programs During Economic Crisis

Denver – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and a group of his colleagues introduced the Coronavirus Medicaid Response Act as states face an economic downturn and Americans lose health care coverage due to job losses during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This legislation would respond to the increased need for health care during the public health and economic crisis by creating a more responsive system to support state Medicaid programs. It would address fluctuating demand in states for Medicaid by automatically increasing or decreasing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) based on state unemployment levels, so that Medicaid aid would ebb and flow with a state’s economy. 

“Our health care systems face unprecedented strain as we continue to battle this public health crisis. States like Colorado are grappling with the increase in demand for Medicaid coverage due to COVID-19 while also facing major budget shortfalls,” said Bennet. “We must ensure there is continuous support in place for states to care for Medicaid beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic and in any future economic crisis. The Coronavirus Medicaid Response Act would automatically help stabilize Medicaid programs across the country during a period of increased demand.” 

To ensure accuracy, the bill calculates a state’s FMAP increase based on Local Area Unemployment Statistics, which are collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and modified based on prospective and retrospective analysis. 

In addition to Bennet, the Coronavirus Medicaid Response Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). 

More information about the Coronavirus Medicaid Response Act is available HERE