Washington, D.C. — Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued guidance allowing states to apply for a so-called block grant that would end the Medicaid funding guarantee for certain adults, including all of those who gained eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Maura Calsyn, managing director for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
For years, President Donald Trump has vowed to not cut Medicaid, among other essential health care programs. This announcement further clarifies for the public that he has lied to them about their health care.
After failing to pass this central piece of its health care repeal bill in Congress, the administration is now unlawfully circumventing the legislative branch in pushing this scheme. This plan will put lives at risk and force states that go along with the it to make impossible choices as federal funding is exhausted, such as limiting patients’ choice of prescription drugs, retracting program eligibility, eliminating retroactive coverage, or saddling low-income families with Medicaid premiums and greater cost-sharing. Its cruelty will be felt by residents in rural communities, who disproportionately suffer from chronic diseases, and by young people, people of color, and individuals with chronic conditions—groups that have benefited most under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
This guidance would hamstring responses to public health emergencies, and the coronavirus outbreak is a reminder that we ought to instead be strengthening states’ ability to contend with unexpected health emergencies.
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