News from LIFE, Inc.

The Truth about Medicaid Block Grants

There’s a lot going around right now about the new federal budget calling for block grants or per capita caps to Medicaid – it all equals cuts. This budget is the latest partisan move to deny health care to some of our most vulnerable citizens. It’s a gimmick that fails to protect parents and adults trying to take care of themselves and their families. Legal experts raise serious questions about this proposal which tries to skirt federal Medicaid law and will likely result in costly litigation while making it harder for low income Americans to have affordable health insurance.

What this does is rip away the guarantee of coverage for adults and parents, allowing states to pick and choose who gets Medicaid and what benefits they receive. It also allows them to change the rules on a whim, without seeking federal approval.

Time and again, studies show that Medicaid expansion leads to more people with coverage, increased access to care and financial security. Under this new budget, these benefits would no longer be guaranteed to all eligible adults – many of them mothers. Instead, states could roll the dice with their health, deciding who gets coverage and who gets cut.

States would get fewer federal dollars through a block grant for part of their Medicaid programs, putting state budgets at serious risk. States’ hands would be tied, with nothing but bad choices, cutting people from the program, creating waiting lists, roll back doctor recommended services, or raise taxes on everyone to make up for a budget shortfall.

Block grants are just another way to cut people, including parents, from health insurance or cut the benefits they need. Research shows when parents are covered, kids are more likely to be covered too. And with the number of uninsured kids in the state climbing, we should be doubling down on efforts to keep parents and children covered. We need to call our state leaders and ask them to keep Medicaid strong to ensure everyone can keep their health insurance.

Block grants mean less federal funding for each state. It does nothing to address the health care crisis we are facing; opioid epidemic, mental health, rural hospitals closing. It could threaten the state’s ability to respond in times of need like an epidemic of coronavirus or a natural disaster. It limits who Medicaid can help and when it can help them.

We should be investing in simplification, and taking up Medicaid expansion across the country to ensure families get and keep the coverage they need.

There are a number of CIL office across Idaho to serve you!

LIFE, Inc. – Living Independently for Everyone!
640 Pershing Ave Ste 7, Pocatello ID 83204
(208) 232-2747 VOICE/TDD
(208) 232-2754 FAX
(800) 631-2747

570 W. Pacific, Blackfoot ID 83221
(208) 785-9648 VOICE
(208) 785-2398 FAX

250 S. Skyline, Idaho Falls ID 83402
(208) 529-8610 VOICE
(208) 529-8610 TDD
(208) 529-6804 FAX

2311 Park Ave. Ste 7, Burley ID 83318
(208) 678-7705 VOICE
(208) 678-7771 FAX