February 23

Protect Medicaid Benefits for the Most Vulnerable

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

Republicans in Congress are looking at ways to reform Medicaid.

Their position is that reform is necessary because the recent and projected growth in Medicaid spending is not sustainable.

With Republicans controlling both Congress and the Executive Branch, reform is much more likely.

Two alternatives are being considered:

Block Grants –

With Block Grants, the federal government would provide each state with a lump sum of money for Medicaid. It would be up to the state to determine how to spend the money.

Per Capita Payment –

The federal government would pay the state a fixed amount per Medicaid recipient. The amount would depend on whether the Medicaid recipient was an older adult, an adult with a disability, a child, or an adult in the Medicaid expansion group. The amount per person would be the same no matter how much or how little Medicaid services the individual required.

Medicaid reform, in and of itself, is not necessarily bad. Depending on how it is structured, it could even be helpful.

At the same time, it could be devastating.

From what we understand, the proposals that are being considered could dramatically reduce funding to the states and possibly place Medicaid waiver programs, such as the waiver for assisted living, at risk. These programs save the Medicaid program money by providing older adults and adults with disabilities a more appropriate and a lower cost option. G&G_1

  • Our position is that Medicaid coverage for our most frail citizens needs to be protected. Services for frail seniors and adults with physical disabilities should not be sacrificed to provide services for abled-bodied adults.
  • Funding for programs and services for frail older adults
    and for adults with disabilities needs to be adequate.
  • States should not have the ability to siphon 80612688money away from older adults and adults with disabilities to fund ther programs and services, especially for programs and services for abled bodied citizens. The Medicaid waiver for assisted living needs to be protected.

We encourage you to contact your representative in the United States House of Representatives about this issue.

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