Our View of the Legislature: Medicaid

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Medicaid is an important state program that enables many people with disabilities to live more independent and integrated lives. The legislature is considering some bills that modify what services are covered under Medicaid. Many of them have fiscal implications, so their fate may be determined by the recommendations of the budget committees on Sunday.

  • HB 1452 (Orrock) creates a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the Office of the Attorney General, with special investigative and enforcement authority. The bill was approved by the House Courts of Justice and sent to House Appropriations. It has a fiscal impact, but a small one.
  • HB 1512 (Adams) directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to change the state plan to be able to pay for motorized wheelchairs in nursing homes. The bill was approved by the House of Health, Welfare, and Institutions and by the House Committee on Appropriations. It costs more than 1.3 million dollars in state matching funds.
  • HB 1599 (Wachsmann) and SB 831 (Favola) direct the Department of Medical Assistance Services to amend the Family and Individual Supports, Community Living, and Building Independence waivers to implement a medically needy spend-down provision that allows otherwise eligible individuals to spend income in excess of the income limit for waiver services on medical expenses in order to meet the waiver income limit. The House Bill was tabled in the House Committee on Appropriations, even though the fiscal impact statement attached to the bill is minimal. (A bill that is tabled in the budget committee could be revived in the budget.) The Senate bill is in Senate Rules, which meets Friday at 10 am, with barely enough time to be considered in the budget reports on Sunday.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia will follow Medicaid-related bills throughout the session. We are available to educate policymakers about the potential impact of legislative proposals. Please let us know of any issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at ga@dlcv.org or info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042. Our mission is to advance independence, choice, and self-determination; protect legal, human, and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect, and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.