GOP FY 2012 Budget Plan Would Trim $1T From Medicaid in 10 Years
House Republicans intend to cut about $1 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid as part of their fiscal year 2012 budget plan, according to GOP sources, Politico reports.
The plan -- which the GOP will release next month -- likely will call for transforming Medicaid into a grant system, under which states would receive fixed annual block grants of $11,000 per beneficiary to use as they choose, rather than the current federal matching system (Allen, Politico, 3/31).
The plan, by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.),Â estimates that if theÂ federal health reform lawÂ is repealed, savings from the block grant proposal could be substantial (Krawzak, CQ Today, 3/31).
Proposal Highlights Rancor Between Democrats, Republicans on Medicaid
According to Politico, entitlement reform is "a major battleground" for Democrats and Republicans. Republicans want states to help rein in costs and to have more flexibility in how they use federal money, while Democrats argue that the GOP favors cutting benefits from the neediest U.S. residents (Politico, 3/31).
Although the proposal has not yet been released, some Democrats already have criticized it. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said that the proposal would do "serious damage to the health care safety net in this country, particularly for senior citizens and persons with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for long-term care" (Millman, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.