KS-Medicaid Block Grants 101

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Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback, has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to convert the state's Medicaid program to a block grant . Twenty-four governors have made the same request, but some policy analyst worry that the block grant would force the state "to shoulder the growing cost of health care" for the poor, disabled, and elderly. Opponents argue that block grants would be harmful to states, such as Kansas, that currently have relatively low Medicaid enrollment because of tight eligibility restrictions. They also point to the histories of other "categorical" programs (programs that can only be used for narrowly defined purposes) that have been converted to block grants in the past 30 years as evidence that the gains in flexibility and efficiency sought by block grant supporters have not materialized.

The Kansas Health Institute has written an article on the pros and cons of block grants.

Resource Details

Date: May 2011
Author: Mike Shields