Lawmakers in Congress have unveiled their year-end omnibus $1.7 trillion spending bill. They’re hoping to pass it by the end of the week. The draft text comes after weeks of wrangling over how to fund certain COVID-era healthcare policies after July, when the public health emergency is finally expected to expire.
Among them is a Medicaid policy that has bloated the entitlement and spent huge sums on people who should not be eligible for coverage according to the program’s own rules. In March 2020, Congress offered extra Medicaid funding to states as long as they didn’t kick ineligible enrollees off the program’s rolls or change eligibility requirements for the duration of the public health emergency. The intent was to ensure people had continuous health insurance throughout the pandemic.