In the waning days of the Trump administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a controversial Medicaid waiver application from Tennessee that would convert funding for the entire state program—also known as TennCare—into a block grant with a fixed overall limit on expenditures. Due to concerns that the proposal would result in steep cuts to Medicaid coverage, as well as the abbreviated process it used to approve the waiver, Tennessee advocates sought to block the waiver’s implementation. The Biden administration agreed to reopen the comment period for the waiver over the summer to seek broader public input on its projected impact.
On September 9, 2021, APA signed a joint letter alongside other health care and disability advocates to CMS in opposition of the proposed waiver (PDF, 1MB). Advocacy staff previously sought the input of colleagues in APA’s Practice Directorate and of the Tennessee Psychological Association (TPA) concerning the proposed TennCare waiver. TPA leadership highly supported APA joining this letter, expressing concerns that the proposed waiver is “regressive” and “ultimately cuts Medicaid coverage for Tennesseans.” The letter also highlights how the waiver will exacerbate current disparities in access to care among communities of color and other underserved communities.
For more information, contact Andrew Strickland, JD.