Feb 6, 2017

GOP Medicaid proposals would save billions, analysis finds

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

A Medicaid block grant would reduce federal spending by $150 billion over five years, and a per capita cap would save $110 billion over the same period of time, a new analysis by Avalere Health finds. One or the other will almost certainly be included in a GOP Obamacare replacement plan.

A block grant would give a fixed amount of money to each state for Medicaid. A per capita cap would limit the amount of funding per beneficiary. These are opposed to the current open-ended system under which the federal government pays a fixed percentage of what a state spends.

Key takeaways:

  • Under a block grant, all states but North Dakota would receive less federal funding for Medicaid.
  • Under a per capita cap, 24 states would receive more funding than they currently do and 26 states plus D.C. would receive less.
  • The impact on states of either model would depend on the state's current federal match rate, Medicaid expansion status and eligibility criteria, scope of benefits, role of managed care and use of provider taxes.

Yes, but: As Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere, points out, states could respond to either model by cutting enrollment, limiting benefits or reducing payment rates to providers and insurers.

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'...

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.