Reportedly the White House is proposing to replace Medicaid with block grants using waivers, allowing state ‘flexibility’ in issuing funds, while also lowering the ratio for able-bodied adults without dependents to receive food stamps.
Many hospital administrators throughout the nation maintain that the use of block grants will place a cap on federal funding for medical coverage, assigning an added financial burden to states in filling healthcare funding gaps. The result would be further limiting the number of people covered by healthcare, and/or reducing payments to hospitals for care of the uninsured. Nursing homes would also experience payment reductions.
Chip Kahn, CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, “questioned whether the [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] can legally allow these waivers.”
The American Hospital Association (AHA), accompanied by other hospital groups, are also in vehement opposition of a block grant, and previously enacted their concerns by contending against such a proposal in 2017, offered as an Obamacare repeal by South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy.
“We have long voiced concerns about how block granting Medicaid could ultimately result in losses of coverage and negatively impact access to quality care,” stated Ashley Thompson, AHA Senior Vice President of Public Policy.
Currently White House policy seems to bypass statutory precedent with fiat dominance. It also seems that the administration may be looking toward funding the ‘Wall’ with revenue extracted from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid.
Just as the current briefly relieved government shutdown has placed burdens on public services, pulling funds out of food and healthcare programs heavily impacts state finances and the plight of those in need. Recipients of the provisions from these programs would experience further food and healthcare insecurity.
Congressional Democrats are apparently poised to combat SNAP reductions and block grants that would replace Medicaid.
“Hell no,” tweeted Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. “If the Administration tries to decimate Medicaid through executive action after its scheme was rejected by Congress and the American people, I will fight it with everything I have.”
Sen. Casey continued, “That fight will be through legislation, in the courts, holding up Administration nominees, literally every means that a U.S. Senator has.”
The political issue is the action to preserve SNAP and Medicaid as much needed public resources. The conceptual issue is mandating the role of Congress as the originator of laws which the administration must follow.
If you are concerned about the possibility of reduced funding to SNAP and Medicaid, please contact your Congressional representatives to pressure for continued funding at current levels.
Find more on the administration’s actions in respect to SNAP and Medicaid in the following articles, from which the above information was derived: