Politico reports threats to 1115 waiver funds


In its morning email, Politico Pulse, Politico reports that 1115 waiver funds for Medicaid demonstration projects are under threat according to a new “draft” memo circulating HHS. The reporting specifically calls out Washington State, California, and Oregon as recipients of these waiver funds.

CMS is expected to cut off federal Medicaid spending on “designated state health programs” based on a recommendation Administrator Seema Verma made this month in a draft memo to HHS leadership, according to multiple consultants close to the discussions. States like New York, California, Oregon and Washington state have collectively relied on billions of federal dollars funneled through the programs to experiment with Medicaid payment reform under sweeping waivers granted by the Obama administration.

It’s unclear whether this memo is in reference to existing, already approved 1115 waivers.  Those are terms set out in contracts between the feds and the states, but each contract has performance and termination clauses.

Such a separation would be ugly – meaning lawsuits over contract law, statutory authorizations, etc.  But, it’s entirely possible these existing 1115 funds are under new consideration.

I’ve reached out to Politico for clarification on their reporting.