Governors Propose Unacceptable Glorified Medicaid Block Grant
February 6, 1996
Today, a bipartisan group of the nation's governors presented their Medicaid reform plan to the full membership of the National Association of Governors. The proposal was received with overwhelming support by 48 of the 50 governors in attendance. In a press conference today, President Clinton acknowledged he has some further questions about the proposal, but noted that it appeared the proposal would meet his bottom line on Medicaid -- keeping the guarantee of the program for women, children, disabled and the elderly.
Although AIDS Action has only seen a brief six page summary of the plan, on its face it is completely unacceptable to the AIDS community. It will not meet the health care needs of people with HIV/AIDS under the Medicaid program and could exclude people with HIV/AIDS from eligibility from the program.
What is the Governors' Proposal Really?
On the surface it looks like a good faith attempt to assist in the resolution of the federal budget stalemate. What the nation's governors are proposing, however, is a block grant quite similar to the Republican "Medigrant" proposal which the President vetoed late last year. This is a glorified block grant with some modest federal requirements. This plan would give states complete control over what kind of services are available, who receives those services, and who provides the service. Each state would receive one lump sum payment to provide services to all beneficiaries for the entire year. Only if states exhaust the base payment and also meet other emergency criteria will they be eligible for additional federal funds. This proposal would create incentives for states to limit eligibility and benefits.
The Governors' Plan:
Call the Senate Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your senators to oppose the governors proposal to reform Medicaid. Call President Clinton at 202-456-1414 and tell him to reject the governors' proposal. Remind the President that he promised to maintain the entitlement status of Medicaid and you expect him to keep his word. The Governors' proposal does not protect the entitlement and jeopardizes the health care of people living with HIV and AIDS.
For more information, contact
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.