Medicaid Block Grants Threaten Women's Health

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“The so-called Healthy Adult Opportunity block grant program devised by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will bring neither health nor opportunity to the 75 million people who rely upon Medicaid for healthcare. The Trump administration’s proposal to gut Medicaid will have severe and devastating consequences for the millions of women and families that rely upon the program. Women make up almost three-fifths of all Medicaid enrollees, and count on the program for a range of care from childbirth and family planning to chronic disease and disability care.

Granting states block grant waivers will gut the heart of the Medicaid program and exacerbate racial inequality. We’ve seen this play out before. When Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) gave states unchecked power to set eligibility and benefits, states with more African American residents developed more restrictive and less generous programs.

Block grant waivers calling for less spending in exchange for limited oversight contradicts Congress’ intention to establish Medicaid as a safety-net health program. Not only do Medicaid block grants oppose Congress’ clear intent, but they are also illegal under Section 1115.

We join members of Congress, health care practitioners and policy leaders in calling on the administration to rescind this cruel and reckless policy.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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