Sen. Johnson reacts to CMS decision on 1115 waiver

In comments provided to State of Reform, Sen. Nathan Johnson — a prominent advocate of health care expansion in Texas — reacted to the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS)’s decision Friday to withdraw the state’s Medicaid 1115 waiver. He said the fiscal impacts of the rescission can be addressed by expanding Medicaid in the state:


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“The rescission should not come as a surprise. Texas and the Trump administration flouted the well-established public notice process, and CMS is saying “start over and follow the rules”. It is critical to recognize that the CMS rescission does not terminate funding for uncompensated care, nor does it deprive the state of other resources. CMS assured the state that it is committed to working with Texas to achieve shared Medicaid goals, and will permit the state to re-submit its 1115 renewal application under the proper process.

The rescission of the renewal does, however, blow a temporary hole in the state’s current budget draft ­– a hole that would be completely filled by a decision to expand Medicaid this session. Expansion would bring an estimated net positive $2.5 billion to the state budget in dynamic revenue, plus about $3.5B in new money from ARPA. When we do finally secure CMS approval of a renewal of uncompensated care funding, the fiscal results of expansion will continue.”