Dems deride, Republicans tout Medicaid block grants

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — House Democrats on Thursday passed a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s plan to allow states to receive Medicaid block grants, with Republicans saying the vote was just a publicity stunt.

The administration’s plan would give states a one-time chunk of Medicaid funding, which Republicans say will let states use that case more efficiently. Democrats argue it will instead strip health coverage from millions of people.

“The administration is gutting Medicaid funding and allowing states to cut benefits,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said on the House floor.

“Medicaid provides important, lifesaving care,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., added. “We know what this means …A loss of coverage for seniors, the disabled and our children.”

Republican Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia refuted that, saying the block grants are the right solution because they will give states flexibility to run a successful program.

“States would be able to take that federal money and more efficiently treat these patients and then share in the savings,” he said.

The resolution got nearly unanimous support from Democrats, but Republicans dismissed the nonbiding measure.

“This is a media opportunity,” Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., said, going on to rip up a copy of the resolution — a reference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s destruction of a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

In recent editorial in The Washington Post, Seema Verma, who oversees the Medicaid program, accused Democrats of fearmongering and emphasized the block grants are optional for states.

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