Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to disapprove of the Trump administration’s latest plan to allow states to convert part of their Medicaid programs into block grants. These so-called block grants have been pursued by Republicans for decades to gut coverage and kick people off the rolls, and have been resoundingly rejected by Congress time and again. In response to the House’s passage of this resolution, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“While President Trump and his administration pursue a policy of ripping away coverage and kicking people off the rolls, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have acted to ensure the Trump administration is held accountable for their blatant sabotage of Medicaid. The administration is targeting Medicaid expansion — one of the most successful, important and popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act — putting vulnerable and low-income populations dependant on the program at further risk. Once again, Democrats have proven that they are the only party worth taking seriously when it comes to protecting Americans’ health care.”

BACKGROUND

28 Million People Could Be Affected By Trump’s Latest Block Grant Proposal. “Overall, the HAO demonstrations could cover nearly 30 million adults if adopted in all states. This total includes approximately 13 million adults newly covered through the ACA Medicaid expansion, 10 million adults currently covered through other state options (using the estimate that 16.1% of Medicaid enrollees are adults covered at state option without accounting for the ACA expansion), and nearly five million uninsured low-income adults in non-expansion states who could be eligible for Medicaid if the state adopted the expansion.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2020

American Lung Association, American Heart Association, And 25 Other Patient Groups Said Trump’s Block Grants “Will Reduce Access To Quality And Affordable Health Care For Patients With Serious And Chronic Health Conditions And Are Therefore Unacceptable To Our Organizations.” “Per capita caps and block grants are designed to reduce federal funding for Medicaid, forcing states to either make up the difference with their own funds or make cuts to their programs that would reduce access to care for the patients we represent. As the gap between the capped allotment and actual costs of patient care increases over time, states will likely limit enrollment, reduce benefits, lower provider payments or increase cost-sharing for patients. States are already moving forward with deeply troubling proposals in anticipation of today’s guidance promoting these limiting financing arrangements. Simply put, block grants and per capita caps will reduce access to quality and affordable health care for patients with serious and chronic health conditions and are therefore unacceptable to our organizations.” [American Lung Association, 1/30/20

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Hospital Association, Family Voices, First Focus on Children, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, March of Dimes and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Said “At A Time When Child Uninsurance Is Already On The Rise, This Guidance Makes It Even Harder To Guarantee Children Can Get The Care They Need.” “Our organizations are united in opposition to any threat to Medicaid that would dismantle a pillar program millions of families rely on. At a time when child uninsurance is already on the rise, this guidance makes it even harder to guarantee children can get the care they need. We urge CMS to immediately rescind the guidance and keep Medicaid strong.” [American Academy Of Pediatrics, 1/30/20

AARP: Block Grants “Could Put At Risk The Health Coverage For Millions Of Vulnerable Americans.” “AARP is deeply concerned that new guidance released today by CMS letting states cap funding in the Medicaid program could put at risk the health coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans. Capping the program’s funding structure and limiting benefits and services could leave millions without the coverage and care they need.” [AARP, 1/30/20]