The GOP plan to fund Medicaid through block grants will probably weaken it

Republicans in the 115th Congress are wasting no time trying to remake the social policy landscape. Barely a week after the new Congress was sworn in, GOP members took an initial step toward repealing aspects of the Affordable Care Act, the major domestic piece of President Obama’s legacy.

Republicans seem likely to set their sights on other components of the U.S. welfare state, including Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. President-elect Donald Trump may not go along with congressional Republicans if they try to alter Medicare and Social Security.

But many key Republicans are especially interested in changing Medicaid, the nation’s health insurance program for the poor — including Trump, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) and Tom Price (Ga.), Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Each of those three has proposed converting Medicaid from a program funded jointly by the federal government and the states into a block grant program. Doing so would send a set amount of money to each state, thus capping total Medicaid spending, and would let each state decide how to disburse those funds.

– Washington Post

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