ACS claims proposed Medicaid changes will harm state budgets
The ACS’s Cancer Action Network (CAN) sent the letters on Jan. 4 in anticipation of a Senate Finance Committee meeting. The concern is that in seeking alternative funding for Medicaid, much of the burden for funding will shift to states that may, as a result, have to decrease enrollment in the health care plan that serves millions of Americans.
“Block grants and per capita caps purport to provide states greater flexibility in administering state Medicaid programs,” ACS CAN President Chris Hansen wrote in the letter. "Unfortunately, this flexibility with reduced federal funding would likely result in your state being forced to impose restrictions in eligibility, enrollment, and/or benefits and services for Medicaid enrollees."
The proposed system that favors fixed federal payments wouldn’t adjust for increased enrollment, health emergencies or new breakthrough treatments, something that ACS CAN warns would increase the burden upon individual states.
According to the letter, states would then have to make up the shortfall or begin using prohibited measures to reduce costs, such as freezing enrollment, creating waiting lists, withholding certain benefits or increasing cost-sharing for those who receive benefits.
“Block grants and per capita caps raise serious issues about Medicaid’s ability to offer low-income Americans quality, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage, particularly for those suffering from cancer,” Hansen wrote in the letter. “We want governors as well as Congress to carefully consider the effects that certain Medicaid funding changes would have on patients and survivors nationwide before any changes are made.”
Organizations in this story
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network 555 11th St NW Washington, DC - 20004