Any tough measures aimed at halting the Trump administration’s attempt to shift Medicaid funding into a block-grant system could imperil other bipartisan health efforts members want to pass this year. Meanwhile, because the new plan, dubbed “Healthy Adult Opportunity,” is optional for states, its impact could vary from region to region creating even more geographical health disparities in the country.
The Hill: Democrats Face Uphill Battle Against Trump’s Medicaid Overhaul
Democrats are vowing to fight the Trump administration’s new plan to let states turn some of their Medicaid funds into a block grant, but blocking the overhaul will be a challenge. The program — branded as the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” — will allow states to ask permission for a waiver to end their traditional, open-ended Medicaid program and put hard caps on how much money states and the federal government will spend on the poor and disabled. States would be allowed to impose work requirements, cut provider payments and require cost sharing and premiums without additional permission from the federal government. (Weixel, 2/2)
Health News Florida: Medicaid Block Grant Proposal Likely Has Little Impact In Florida
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the plan, called the Healthy Adult Opportunity, on Thursday. It’s an optional program that would allow states to receive part of their Medicaid funding in one lump sum. Unlike the current system where the federal contribution increases as a state’s health care costs go up, funding under the block grants would be capped. (Ochoa, 1/31)
North Carolina Health News: Federal Proposal Could Change The Face Of Medicaid In North Carolina
State leaders may follow their current positions when it comes to the proposed block grants. The office of Republican state Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) declined to comment, pointing to the complicated aspects of the block grant proposal. The office of State House Speaker Tim Moore did not respond to a phone call and email Thursday seeking comment. But the block grant proposal, being called Healthy Adult Opportunity, could find some support in North Carolina, one of the 14 states that have so far resisted expanding Medicaid to low-income adults. A standoff between Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and Republican state lawmakers over Medicaid expansion has left the state without a budget, after Cooper vetoed a proposed budget in June because it didn’t have a path to expansion. (Ovaska and Engel-Smith, 1/31)
And in other Medicaid news —
Modern Healthcare: Medicaid Expansion Linked To Employment Rate Growth In Michigan
Medicaid expansion enrollees in Michigan increased their rate of employment or student status at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the state’s population in 2017, the latest evidence on the benefits of expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The percentage of expansion enrollees who had jobs or were enrolled in school rose six percentage points in one year, while the rate for other state residents remained flat, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open. (Meyer, 1/31)
Roll Call: HHS Cheers Overdose Drop But Urges States To Cap Medicaid
The White House announced the first decline in overdose deaths since the earliest days of the opioid crisis and attributed it to administration actions, even as officials simultaneously said they would let states cap funding for Medicaid, a common way for patients to get treatment. A 4 percent dip in the number of overdose deaths from 2017 to 2018 could indicate that the crest of the opioid crisis has passed, said White House senior aide Kellyanne Conway, who called the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data a “turning point.” (Kopp and Siddons, 1/31)
St. Louis Public Radio: Hospital Association Says Expanding Medicaid Would Keep Rural Missouri Hospitals Open
When Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville closed recently, it became the seventh rural hospital to shut its doors in Missouri since 2010.In that same time frame, Illinois had two rural hospitals go out of business. The National Rural Hospital Association blames the difference on lack of Medicaid expansion. The association reports there are nine factors that can lead to a rural hospital shutting down, and being in a state, like Missouri, that hasn’t expanded Medicaid is number one. (Ahl, 2/2)
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