We will be facing a long line of questions about this particular and dramatic change to our healthcare system. Instead of reiterating, here is the block quote from the article above:
“If Congress decides to create block grants for Medicaid, lawmakers will face thorny questions with huge political and financial implications: How much money will each state receive? How will the initial allotments be adjusted — for population changes, for general inflation, for increases in medical prices, for the discovery of new drugs and treatments? Will the federal government require states to cover certain populations and services? Will states receive extra money if they have not expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, but decide to do so in the future?”
Right now, Medicaid is financed by joint Federal and State funding with the federal government picking up about 50% of the tab and covers approximately 73 million Americans (source).
“[Block grants] would likely eliminate the guarantee that everyone who’s eligible and applies for its benefits would receive them and probably give states sweeping new authority to restrict eligibility, cut benefits, and make it harder for people to enroll.” (source)
- Put a (dollar) cap on the amount of funding per state (e.g., lump sum payment from federal to state) with no federal help after this cap (states would be responsible for any additional cost)
- Any unanticipated cost in medicine (e.g., needing to develop new treatment) would fall upon the states rather than both state and federal government
- States would have to either cut benefits/eligibility/providers or contribute more to their Medicaid programs
- No guarantee that those who are covered will be covered after this is enacted
- Primarily would produce savings for the federal budget
- Most likely affect states with large numbers of poor Americans
I’m still not quite sure how “everybody” will have health insurance under this and many other changes to our health care system.