House Bill 642 — Medicaid, county med assistance

Parrish Miller 2020 House bill ratings Leave a Comment

Bill description: HB 642 limits eligibility to the County Indigent Assistance Program and reassigns a portion of county revenue sharing to the Medicaid Expansion Program. 

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Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

HB 642 says that individuals who are eligible for Medicaid or for health insurance shall not be eligible for financial assistance through the County Indigent Assistance Program.

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Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

Under current law, counties are allowed to levy a 0.1% property tax on property owners to pay for the County Indigent Assistance Program. Even though HB 642 would significantly scale back this program, it would let counties continue to levy this tax. Some revenue from this tax would be allocated to the County Justice Fund. Instead of repealing this burdensome tax, HB 642 merely shifts the money taken from property owners to a different government program. 

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Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

HB 642 says that 17.5% of county revenue sharing dollars will be reassigned to the Medicaid Expansion Program. This tax shift would represent more than $12 million during the first year and that dollar amount would continue to increase thereafter. 

This requirement would force each county to forgo a portion of its revenue sharing dollars, based on its total population rather than on how many of its residents use Medicaid. This creates an inequality among the counties and will require the residents of some counties to pay more to subsidize the residents of other countries.

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