Friday Five: Will the government shutdown mean millions go without food stamps?

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January 11, 2019

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the potential impact of the government shutdown on food stamps, the Veteran Administration’s call for assistance, what to expect from Medicaid in 2019, staff changes at CMS, in addition to local and state level efforts to expand healthcare coverage.

1. Here’s what happens to the economy if food stamps are halted for a year due to the shutdown

If the government shutdown goes on long enough, it could mean millions go without food stamps. According to Market Watch, more than 40 million individuals could lose benefits, potentially causing a direct loss to GDP of nearly $61 billion in 2019.

2. VA calls for help bringing home appeals modernization process

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for help developing a suite of modern appeals processing tools. As Fedscoop reports, the agency recently posted a request for information for outside contractor support. The Caseflow suite has been under development for several years and is based on user-centered and agile methodology.

3. Medicaid: What to watch for in 2019 from the administration, Congress, and the states  

The Kaiser Family Foundation released an issue brief on what to watch for as relates to Medicaid in 2019. Primary areas of focus include Medicaid expansion, Medicaid waivers, how Medicaid is being used to address opioids and substance abuse, Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the impact of “public charge” policies, and potential payment and delivery reform.

4. CMS Administrator Seema Verma names Chris Traylor acting director to replace Mary Mayhew

Earlier this week, Chris Traylor was named acting director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. Healthcare Finance reports that Traylor has more than 25 years of public sector healthcare and social services experience, including being a state Medicaid director. Several other staff changes were also announced.

5. California, New York City move to provide health care coverage to undocumented residents

Both the governor of California and the mayor of New York City have announced proposals that would provide healthcare to undocumented residents. According to CNN, the California budget proposal would expand Medicaid to cover undocumented young adults and the NYC Care program would provide some form of coverage to all uninsured NYC residents, of which there are approximately 600,000.