Conference Committee Removes Brock/Sears Amendment from H.202

by Angela Chagnon

The Brock/Sears amendment has been removed from the final version of the healthcare bill. It has been replaced with language requiring that a study be done to examine costs of services for illegal aliens to determine if they will receive future coverage.

Section 10(2) of H.202 reads:

“Federal law prohibits coverage of undocumented immigrants through Medicaid and through the Exchange. Federal funds would not be available to cover undocumented immigrants through Green Mountain Care.”

The bill requires that “no later than January 15, 2013”, the Green Mountain Care Board should examine and report on:

· “The potential costs of services provided to undocumented immigrants…”

· “The potential costs of providing coverage for health services to undocumented immigrants through Green Mountain Care, including any state funds necessary to fund the services.”

The bill also designates that the Secretary of Administration “shall work with Vermont’s Congressional delegation to:

(1) provide a mechanism for legal status under federal immigration law for non-seasonal farm workers; and

(2) clarify any impacts of covering or not covering undocumented immigrants through Green Mountain Care on the receipt of waiver under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act.”

H.202 also proposes to “integrate or align Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, associations, state employees, and municipal employees into or with” the exchange and Green Mountain Care (GMC). This can only be done if Vermont obtains waivers from the Federal government to roll Medicaid and Medicare into GMC.

Dr. William Hsaio, in his report, had advised against integrating Medicare into GMC.