Texas AG Paxton sues Biden administration over rescinding extension to Texas Medicaid program

Political News

FILE – In this file photo, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a hearing in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – On April 16, the Biden administration removed a Trump-approved extension for Texas’ Medicaid program, claiming the federal government “materially erred” in granting the state’s request for a sped-up extension.

Today, May 14, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming the extension was “unlawfully stripped away” and that it “would have ensured stable funding for providers of healthcare for children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.”

As previously reported through KXAN, “Texas is one of 12 states that has not adopted federal Medicaid expansion. Instead, through what’s known as a Medicaid 115 waiver, Texas was approved to run its Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program tapping into federal and state funding. The program is worth worth more than $11 billion per year, according to the Texas Hospital Association.”

A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has previously stated CMS made an error exempting the state from the normal public process, which the spokesperson described as a critical priority for soliciting stakeholder feedback and ensuring public awareness.

“Upon further review, we have determined that CMS materially erred in granting Texas’s request,” CMS Acting Administrator Liz Richter wrote in a letter to the state’s Medicaid Director Stephanie Stephens with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The full letter can be read here.

However, AG Paxton’s lawsuit aims to reinstate the extension of the Medicaid waiver and “prevent the federal government from forcing the adoption of its own unsuitable program.”

“The Biden Administration cannot simply breach a contract and topple Texas’s Medicaid system without warning. This disgusting and unlawful abuse of power aimed at sovereign states must end,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Not only does this violate agency regulations and threaten to rip a $30 billion hole in Texas’s budget, it was clearly intended to force our state into inefficiently expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This would be a disaster for our state, and yet President Biden seems intent on thrusting his bloated model of government on everyone—including Texas.” 

According to previous reporting, Texas requested the waiver of section 1115 in November, asking for a five-year extension. CMS approved the application on Jan. 15 for a 10-year extension, doubling the five-year request from the state.

The statement from Paxton’s office claims that Texas requested an eight-year extension that was granted in by the Trump administration in January 2021, and rescinded by the Biden administration, “without warning, proper authority, reasoning, or the required notice-and-comment period.”

A copy of the filing can be found here.

This is a developing story. Stay with MyHighPlains.com for the latest.


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