Texas’s senior senator is holding up the confirmation of Chiquita-Brooks-LaSure as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) administrator over the Biden administration’s decision to rescind the state’s Medicaid waiver, which benefits more than 300,000 Texans receiving in-home care.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said he is blocking Brooks-LaSure’s nomination from advancing to a vote over the Biden administration’s refusal to extend Texas’s Medicaid waiver for 10 years. In an interview with Stat, Cronyn said he expressed the importance of the waiver to Brooks-LaSure, and shortly thereafter the Biden administration rescinded the waiver. Cronyn called the move “in bad faith and irresponsible.”
In January, the Trump administration extended the waiver for 10 years without requiring Texas to go through a public comment period. Rachel Hammon, executive director of the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily the association was disappointed by the decision but was optimistic the state will ultimately get the waiver after going through a public comment period.
The waiver provides billions of dollars in federal funding to Texas. The state has been seeing an influx of retirees in recent years and Hammon says those seniors could potentially place a burden on Texas’s Medicaid system which helps pay for skilled nursing and home care.
Croyn’s objection is not likely to derail the confirmation because Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has the authority to decide how long the hold can be honored.