In an effort to elicit greater understanding of how states will uphold most provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has submitted a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with “critical questions that must have answers before states can determine best how to proceed in light of the court’s decision.”
He received a response from Marilyn Tavenner, MHA, acting administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In her response, Tavenner wrote, “There is no deadline for a state to tell our department its plans on the Medicaid eligibility expansion ... A state can receive extra funding for Medicaid IT costs and exchange implementation costs even if it has not yet decided whether to expand Medicaid eligibility or run its own exchange ... If a state decides not to run its own exchange or expand Medicaid, it will not have to pay those (federal) resources back.”
The response from Tavenner comes after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a letter to the governors addressing some questions posed by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Medicaid Directors.