FACT CHECK: “Block-granting”
At today’s House Budget Committee hearing on “Strengthening the Safety Net,” Republicans continue to make the claim that block-granting Medicaid would give states the flexibility to provide the best service to their citizens.
FACT CHECK: “Block-granting” Medicaid is not reform, it is dismantlement.
This is simply code for deep, arbitrary cuts in support to the most vulnerable seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low income children. And, as hearing witness Ron Haskins pointed out, even some Republican governors have expressed concerns with this proposal. [The Hill, 3/04/2012]
The Republican budget includes Medicaid cuts of $810 billion, plus savings of $1.6 trillion from repealing the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion and its subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people purchase health insurance – $2.4 trillion total. [CBPP, 3/23/2012] These cuts help finance a whopping tax break of $394,000 to people making over $1 million a year. [CBPP, 4/12/2012]
The Congressional Budget Office reported that while it cannot estimate how the Republican budget would affect access to health care, quality of care, or state budgets, it did report that states will need to increase their own spending, cut back services, or both. Devastating cuts to Medicaid will hurt the most vulnerable people in our nation – senior citizens and disabled individuals who together account for two-thirds of all Medicaid spending. [HBCD, 3/28/2012] A Kaiser Family Foundation study of last year’s House budget block grant plan indicated as many as 14 to 27 million people could lose Medicaid coverage, depending on program design. [KFF, 05/2011]