Verma's Medicaid speech: 5 quotes

CMS Administrator Seema Verma delivered a speech on Medicaid at the 2018 Medicaid Managed Care Summit Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.

Here are five quotes from her prepared remarks, which can be found in their entirety here:    

1. "We are proposing modifications to a few of our regulations; including the Medicaid Access to Care Rule and the Medicaid Managed Care Rule, and with each of these proposed rules, we have worked closely with states in an unprecedented manner to promote individual choice and local control — leading to better health outcomes for Americans on Medicaid."

2. "To elicit meaningful reform, the best thing that CMS can do is create a fertile ground for states to serve as the laboratories of innovation in Medicaid policy … and then get out of their way. And that's why we've opened opportunities for states to seek demonstrations to test new and exciting reforms."

3. "We are committed to [innovation demonstrations] and we are moving closer to approving even more state waivers.  As such, I’m happy to share with you today that we have finalized the terms for our next innovative community engagement demonstration, which we expect to deliver to the state very soon."

4. "Some have argued that these [work requirement] demonstrations are unnecessary because nearly all Medicaid beneficiaries are already working. To that I say — great. Then this policy won't impact them, and in fact if you look at Arkansas, the vast majority of adults subject to the requirement were ultimately exempted from the monthly reporting requirement because of their steady employment."

5. "But I have said before and I will say it again — until we move away from an open-ended entitlement program, and only when states are held accountable to a defined budget — can the federal government finally end our practice of micromanaging every administrative process. I believe that it's our imperative to instead focus on measuring the actual results on the program while unleashing the power of local innovation — so you will see more from us soon on new opportunities to do just that."

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