Alec Stone
Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

During a recent speech at the 2018 Medicaid Management Care Summit, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma expressed a continued commitment to Medicaid’s legacy of supporting Americans in need.

“Medicaid is more than a safety-net program. It’s our nation’s commitment to care for our most vulnerable citizens,” Verma said. “And I believe that societies, throughout history, should not just be judged by their wealth and influence, but they should also be judged by how they treat those who are less fortunate. Since its inception, Medicaid has served as a powerful tool in making sure that our nation’s most vulnerable can get the care they need.”

Verma’s statement redoubled CMS’s commitment to the principles on which the program was created. She emphasized three key points in the CMS’s strategy to further bolster Medicaid:

  • Flexibility
  • Accountability
  • Integrity

Moreover, Verma expressed support for continuing education programs to help lift people out of poverty by assisting with job training. She maintained that Medicaid will ensure that those in need will continue to have access to the program’s services and resources, while still helping Americans move away from Medicaid as their incomes grow.

“There’s no shame in receiving extra help when it’s needed—that’s why we have a safety net to care for folks on hard times,” Verma said in her closing remarks. However, she insisted that the answer to poverty isn’t simply expanding federal programs without measurements and parameters. CMS is working with state and local governments to find new, unique mechanisms to offer resources and assistance to Americans as they get themselves back on their feet.