Since the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 became law, requiring states to obtain documentation proving citizenship of Medicaid enrollees, many eligible residents have lost coverage or have had it delayed.
That’s according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing problems found with states implementing the new law. The GAO surveyed 50 states and received complete responses from 44, making up approximately 71 percent of national enrollment. Before the DRA, Medicaid applicants could attest to citizenship though signature under penalty of perjury.
According to the report, the law is leading to declines in Medicaid coverage for eligible citizens, and all states reported administrative and financial burdens to implement the new requirement.
The House Committee on Government Reform also found that costs of implementing the measure far outweighed the savings in identifying undocumented individuals who might have used Medicaid.
Colorado took 1.5 million in federal money to implement the program and found no undocumented immigrants trying to enroll in Medicaid.