McCaul’s bipartisan bill permits children to receive all-inclusive services under Medicaid

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on Aug. 6 cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would create an optional Medicaid benefit covering hospice and palliative care for children with life-threatening diseases.

“Families of children with life-threatening conditions should not have to worry if their child will receive proper care,” Rep. McCaul said. “This vital piece of legislation will give children and their families access to proper medical care from the very start to give the child a fighting chance. I am proud to be a voice for the most vulnerable among us.”

The Children’s Program of All-Inclusive Coordinated Care (ChiPACC) Act of 2021, H.R. 4952, which Rep. McCaul introduced with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), would amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide states an option to cover ChiPACC under the Medicaid program, according to the congressional record bill summary.

Under current law, Medicaid does not provide such coverage for palliative care and to receive Medicaid coverage for hospice care, children first must forgo any further curative treatments, according to information provided by Rep. McCaul’s staff.

Under H.R. 4952, each family would be provided a specialized care plan for their child covering a range of services, including palliative, counseling, respite, expressive therapy and bereavement, the information says.

“No parent should be required to give up hope in order to give their child the comfort they deserve,” said Rep. DeGette. “This bill will provide families the services and support they need to ensure their children receive the best care possible.”

If enacted, H.R. 4952 also would eliminate the requirement that families secure a doctor’s certification that their child has less than six months before Medicaid will cover such expenses, according to the information. 

In December 2020, Reps. McCaul and DeGette first introduced a similar bill, H.R. 9002, which expired at the end of the congressional session, prompting the lawmakers to reintroduce the measure this month.