Patient Groups Express Strong Opposition to Medicaid Block Grants

Press Release
Patient Groups Express Strong Opposition to Medicaid Block Grants
Arlington, Virginia

Proposals for Block Grants or Per Capita Caps in Medicaid Would Harm Patients with Serious and Chronic Health Conditions

Today, 27 patient groups submitted a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma expressing strong opposition to policies that would allow states to apply for block grants or per capita caps for their Medicaid programs. The Administration’s “State Medicaid Director Letter: Medicaid Value and Accountability Demonstration Opportunity” is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the groups released the following shared statement:

“As patient and consumer organizations, we represent and support millions of individuals facing serious, acute and chronic health conditions. Affordable and quality healthcare is essential for the health and lives of our patients, including many individuals who rely on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage. Our organizations are deeply concerned about potential guidance that would encourage, invite or allow states to apply for block grants or per capita caps for their Medicaid programs.

“Per capita caps and block grants are designed to reduce federal funding for Medicaid, forcing states to either make up the difference with their own funds or make cuts to their programs that would reduce access to care for the patients we represent. As the gap between the capped allotment and actual costs of patient care increases over time, states will likely limit enrollment, reduce benefits, lower provider payments or increase cost-sharing for patients. States like Utah and Tennessee are already moving forward with deeply troubling proposals in anticipation of new federal guidance promoting these capped financing arrangements.

“Simply put, block grants and per capita caps will reduce access to quality and affordable healthcare for patients with serious and chronic health conditions and are therefore unacceptable to our organizations. We strongly oppose policies that would allow states to apply for block grants or per capita caps for their Medicaid programs.”

Alpha-1 Foundation

ALS Association

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Liver Foundation

American Lung Association

Arthritis Foundation

Chronic Disease Coalition

COPD Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation Family Voices

Hemophilia Federation of America

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Lutheran Services in America

March of Dimes

Muscular Dystrophy Association

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

National Hemophilia Foundation

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Disorders

National Patient Advocate Foundation

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Susan G. Komen

United Way Worldwide

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