Rep. Green Fights for Medicaid Recipients with Re-Introduction of Bill

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Mark Green re-introduced the Medicaid Improvement and State Flexibility Act in the 118th Congress. The bill authorizes states to begin pilot programs that give Medicaid recipients a swipe card with dollars on it designed for medical purchases. What is not spent on the card is returned to the holder at the end of the year in the form of an Earned Income Tax Credit. 

“This legislation allows states to innovate and provide better solutions for those on Medicaid. I first introduced this innovative idea as a Tennessee state senator, where it passed in Tennessee but has yet to receive federal approval,” said Green. “A swipe card designed for medical purchases, coupled with a catastrophic insurance plan, gives Medicaid recipients direct control over their healthcare spending while maintaining a safety net. This will improve quality of care and drive down costs. For states that want flexibility to test pilot programs to better serve those on Medicaid, my bill is a no-brainer.”

This “swipe card” policy is similar to health savings accounts in private insurance, which put the patient in control and reduce healthcare spending. In a similar way, the pilot program in Medicaid would decrease costs while giving the patient control. The program also provides payment to the physician immediately, without the need for costly and drawn-out claims processing, further decreasing the cost of healthcare and encouraging providers to compete for patients. 

Read the bill text here