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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Details Emerge on President Trump’s Health Care Agenda

January 26, 2017 | Medicaid | Comments
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President Donald Trump and his team began sharing details of their health care agenda this week. In addition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – the President is said to support restructuring Medicaid into a block grant, providing a fixed amount of money to states to provide services to low-income families, children, pregnant women and senior citizens. As noted previously in the Capitol Connector, such a change would be particularly detrimental to Americans’ access to mental health and addiction care through Medicaid.

While the details on how block grants would function and to what level they would be funded remain unknown, it is clear that the ultimate goal of re-financing Medicaid is to massively reduce federal investment in the program. Under this proposal, the federal government would provide a set amount of money to states on an annual basis to provide health care services for their state. States would then be responsible for 100% of any medical costs that exceed that cap.

To learn more about the implications of block granting Medicaid, click here.

 

GETTING INPUT FROM STATE LEADERS

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee – the committee responsible for Medicaid policy – sent a letter to all governors asking for feedback on the expected impact of potential proposals to block grant or cap federal Medicaid spending. The letter comes after GOP Congressional leaders met with a group of Republican Governors to discuss potential legislative and regulatory changes to the Medicaid program.

“We are concerned by numerous proposals and statements suggesting plans to radically restructure Medicaid’s financing system, resulting in huge permanent cost shifts to states and threatening access to critical health care services for tens of millions of low-income children and families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities,” the senators wrote.  “Recognizing the importance of the state-federal partnership in the administration of the Medicaid program, we appreciate your feedback in informing federal policymakers on the impacts of these types of proposals on state Medicaid programs and budgets.”

 

TAKE ACTION

Share this letter with your Governor’s office and urge them to reply to this request for input. The National Council has resources on its Act NOW webpage that can be revised to reflect the specific nature of this request. Click here for more information.

Have questions? Please feel free to reach out and ask!