A Republican lawmaker said Sunday that President Donald Trump does not have a plan to use the $20 billion in federal funding that comes with the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid to help states meet the demand for care for the sickest residents of the country.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who sits on the House Committee on Appropriations, said he was unaware of any specific plan for how the money would be used.
Jordan said it was unclear if Trump had considered the possibility of putting the money into a new fund to be created, or into the existing Medicaid program.
Jordan said he did not know how the Trump administration would use the funds.
“It would be an important tool to help our states, but it is unclear how they would use that money to make decisions on Medicaid expansion,” Jordan said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Trump has said he would put the funds into a health care fund for the states, or to other federal agencies.
The President is currently in the midst of negotiating a $1 trillion health care deal with Republicans in Congress, and his administration has said the funds would go toward covering the uninsured.
Democrats on the committee have called on Trump to come up with a plan on Medicaid as soon as possible, and they have pressed him to provide details about how the funds will be used, including when the money will be spent.
Jordan, who said he is a Republican who supports the ACA, said it would be “unconscionable” if Trump did not provide any details on the health care funding.
“What does he have in mind that the president can’t discuss with us, because he knows that the American people are the ones who are paying for that,” Jordan told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Morning.”
The Republican lawmaker was referring to a report by The Hill that cited an unnamed source saying Trump is considering a plan that would use $20 million in Medicaid funding to cover the uninsured but would give states the option to opt out of it.
Trump’s proposal, however, would not include a mechanism to cover people who do not have health insurance, the source said.
Jordan did not immediately respond to ABC’s request for comment Sunday.
Trump has also expressed concern about the costs of covering people with preexisting conditions, saying it would cause the insurance companies to drop coverage and create a health insurance nightmare for those who are not covered.
Trump’s proposal for the $1.5 trillion health plan also has not been detailed, and the White House has said it does not include any plans for funding Medicaid expansion.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday defended Trump’s plan to fund the Medicaid expansion through a block grant, saying the White, House is “making the same mistake that Republicans did for the Affordable [Care Act].”
“He has not even done a single thing about it,” Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The $20-billion-a-year Medicaid expansion is intended to provide health insurance to more than 2.4 million low-income Americans.
But it is also designed to cover roughly 5 million people who are uninsured, which Trump has not said how he would pay for it.
The expansion has raised concerns among health experts that it will not be able to keep up with rising health care costs, and some have questioned whether the program is even necessary.