GOP rep introducing bill offering alternative Medicaid program
© Stefani Reynolds

Freshman GOP Rep. Mark GreenMark GreenWHO says Ebola is global emergency Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities MORE (Tenn.) is slated to introduce a bill on Tuesday that would authorize states to launch pilot programs to test an alternative Medicaid program.

Under the Medicaid Improvement and State Flexibility Act, Medicaid recipients would receive a card — similar to EBT cards used by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients — intended for medical purchases. Funds that aren’t used by the end of the year would then be returned to individuals through an earned income tax credit.

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Proponents of the legislation argue that the program, when coupled with a so-called catastrophic insurance plan, could provide those currently utilizing Medicaid with a safety net and drive down health-care costs.

“We need to move forward and utilize the power of markets to fix our broken system and help those in need,” Green said in a statement.

“I hope Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize the need for patient choice and join this effort.”

The bill's introduction comes as House Democrats bring legislation to the floor aimed at protecting parts of the Affordable Care Act and driving down prescription drug costs. Those measures, however, could face an uphill battle in garnering bipartisan support.

Green's bill is similar to legislation he spearheaded while serving as a state senator in Tennessee. That state measure has not yet received federal approval and has not yet been implemented.