(Washington, D.C.) A new plan to convert Medicaid funding into limited block grants unveiled by the Trump administration Thursday threatens the health of millions of Medicaid recipients.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid guidance represents a radical and unlawful departure from existing Medicaid financing where every dollar a state spends receives a matching amount of federal funds. The new financing structure would instead provide a set amount of money in the form of block grant—effectively cutting Medicaid spending and putting millions of women and families at risk.
Dorianne Mason, Director of Health Equity for the National Women’s Law Center, condemned the plan:
“This guidance is nothing more than a Medicaid cut disguised as Medicaid reform. Ignoring the widespread support and need for expanded Medicaid coverage, President Trump and Director Verma have instead revived their failed plan to slash health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans. Medicaid is a vital support for women across the country and the only shield many families have when navigating our unjust health care system. This plan would undo an essential part of the Affordable Care Act and take away necessary care from millions.”
Converting Medicaid funding into block grants was a central part of Congress’ failed attempt in 2017 to replace the Affordable Care Act, a politically-toxic bill opposed by most Americans and eventually tabled by its original proponents. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, expanding Medicaid coverage not only results in improved health outcomes, but greatly reduces the burden on those states to fill in the gaps in the private health care system.