Debate: Should Biden Extend COVID-Era Medicaid Relief?

The government is in the process of ending one of the last remaining COVID-19-era safety nets: expanded Medicaid coverage. Nearly 5.5 million Americans have been pushed from the Medicaid rolls as states have ended expanded Medicaid coverage.

Now, some are calling on the Biden administration to take action to ensure these Americans continue to have access to quality health coverage even in our post-COVID-19 world — typically, by ensuring that Medicaid is not un-enrolling Americans for simple procedural errors.

We asked two professors and authors of ALM’s Tax Facts with opposing political viewpoints to share their opinions about whether President Joe Biden should act to provide additional coverage after the end of COVID-19-era Medicaid relief.

Below is a summary of the debate that ensued between the two professors.

Their Votes:

thumbs up Bloink
Thumbs down Byrnes

Their Reasons:

Bloink: We’re talking about millions of Americans who are set to lose Medicaid coverage. We’re also talking about the most vulnerable lower-income Americans. The Biden administration has to find some way to respond to this impending problem, which in reality will impact all Americans who will be forced to absorb the health care costs of former Medicaid recipients who can’t pay themselves.

Byrnes: States and Medicaid recipients have had months to adjust to our return-to-normal, post-COVID-19 policies. We’re talking about temporary measures that were enacted in response to an unprecedented global pandemic. These relief provisions were never intended to be permanent, and it’s time to put an end to them.

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