Cassidy joins Trump health officials in unveiling innovative Medicaid funding model

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Kevin Fambrough | The News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Livingston Parish News) – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today joined Trump administration health officials in rolling out the Healthy Adult Opportunity (HAO) program, which will allow states to craft state-specific policies to deliver better care for Medicaid-eligible able-bodied adults.

Cassidy spoke during the plan’s unveiling at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) alongside HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verna, and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican.

Cassidy spent 25 years as a doctor in Louisiana’s public hospital system delivering care to the uninsured and those on Medicaid.

“Society has wisely accepted the of helping to care for those who are less well-off. It is essential that we have the financing to achieve this. We must do things differently in a way that will contribute to better outcomes,” said Dr. Cassidy.

HAO places patients first through state flexibility, accountability and patient protections by providing coverage for adults who aren’t eligible for benefits under their state’s Medicaid plan. It accomplishes this by granting states flexible funding options to build a program that works best for them. The program is optional and open to both states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not.

This state option strengthens the Medicaid program by focusing on quality-based results. Participating states can adjust cost-sharing requirements to incentivize high value care, align benefits more closely to those that are available through a commercial insurance benefit package and administer care through innovative delivery systems.

Rather than return money to Washington, states that realize savings through their program will be required to reinvest those savings into the traditional Medicaid population (children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and low-income adults).

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