Two Different Parties, Two Different Medicaid Solutions


I covered an event this week on the Medicaid program where it was clear that Republicans and Democrats have very different opinions on how best to help the program.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said at the Sept. 13 event that Medicaid is “fundamentally flawed” and his party wants to turn it into a block-grant program. Meanwhile, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said he’s opposed to block grants, and his party wants more states to expand their Medicaid programs, as envisioned by the Affordable Care Act. The event was sponsored by Politico.

Under a block-grant system, the federal government would give states annual lump sums for their Medicaid programs. States would have more flexibility to run their Medicaid programs, but they would also be responsible for covering costs beyond the federal grant.

While ACA Medicaid expansion to those earning 138 percent of the poverty level is supported largely by Democrats, some Republican governors have expanded Medicaid under the law. So far, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid.

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