Press Releases

Upton Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Medicaid

Common-sense bill would ensure taxpayers aren’t on the hook for Medicaid costs when Lotto winners hit it big

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Washington, February 3, 2017 | Lynn Turner/Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, introduced legislation, H.R. 829, the Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Over Lottery Winners Act of 2017, in the U.S. House of Representatives that would strengthen Medicaid for those who need it most.

“Medicaid is meant to help the most vulnerable amongst us – not high-dollar Lottery winners,” said Upton. “Our common-sense solution would alter how Medicaid eligibility is determined for those lucky enough to hit it big playing the Lottery, while continuing to prioritize the low-income population the program is meant to assist. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to strengthen critical programs like Medicaid to ensure they best serve our communities.”

Under Medicaid regulations, income received as a lump sum, such as lottery winnings, is counted as income only in the month received. As a result, states are effectively not allowed to dis-enroll lottery winners from Medicaid. This forces taxpayers to bear the burden of paying the health care benefits for individuals who no longer require assistance. H.R. 829 will close this loophole by requiring states to count monetary winnings from lotteries of $80,000 or more as if they were obtained over multiple months, even if obtained in a single month.

In 2015, Upton created a Medicaid Task Force to strengthen and sustain the critical program and has a long record of working hard to ensure programs like Medicare and Medicaid are there for those that need them now and solvent for future generations.  

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