AARP Warns Against Medicaid Block Grants

In a five-page policy paper issued Wednesday, the seniors lobby detailed how the proposal to transform the state-federal health care program for the poor into a block grant would, among other things, have an especially negative impact on low-income elderly people and people who depend on long-term care services.

The Hill: AARP: Ryan Plan Would Limit Medicaid Innovation
Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal would stand in the way of innovative programs to improve care for people on Medicaid, AARP said in a policy paper released Wednesday. The seniors lobby also said Ryan's proposal would hit elderly low-income patients especially hard (Baker, 4/27).

CQ HealthBeat: AARP: Don't Block-Grant Medicaid Funds
The seniors' advocacy group AARP is fighting back against proposals to block-grant Medicaid by releasing a five-page fact sheet on the risks of capping federal funds for the federal-state health program for the poor. People who depend on Medicaid for long-term care services could suffer, said the group, because under a block grant, state officials could choose to freeze or cut enrollment or reduce provider rates so much that the quality of care would diminish. People who receive nursing home care under Medicaid could be "an obvious target for cuts," the report warns, because they represent 15 percent of enrollment and their costs consume 39 percent of the program's spending (Adams, 4/27). 

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.