Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: The Trump Administration’s Medicaid Block Grant Guidance: Frequently Asked Questions

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 — The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities issued the following report: The Trump Administration has issued guidance inviting states to seek demonstration projects — often called waivers — that would radically overhaul Medicaid coverage./1 Under the guidance, states could apply for waivers that would convert their Medicaid programs for many adults into a form of block grant, with capped federal funding and new authorities to cut coverage and benefits. The proposed waivers are a lose-lose proposition for people with Medicaid and for states. Far from promoting better health outcomes, as the Administration has claimed, the waivers would worsen people’s health by taking away coverage and reducing access to care. For states, they would mean greater financial risk, with federal funding cuts most likely to occur during recessions, public health emergencies, and other times when states face high demand for coverage and strain on other parts of their budgets. States taking up the proposed waivers should also expect to face litigation, since the waivers appear to violate federal law in several respects. The Administration has long sought to enact legislation that would undermine or eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults and impose funding caps on the rest of the Medicaid program. The guidance is the latest in a series of administrative actions aiming to advance those same goals./2 This paper answers various frequently asked questions about the new guidance: * Who could be subject to block grant waivers? * What […]

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