Capitol Correspondence - 06.10.19

CMS Expected to Release Medicaid Block Grant Guidance to States Soon

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the White House is currently reviewing guidance that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be releasing to state governments on creating block grants for Medicaid. The guidance, which is meant to cover Medicaid broadly, is expected to also apply to supports for people with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) even if it does not specifically target them. We share more details from Politico Pro on the guidance below. ANCOR has been monitoring the Administration’s and states’ efforts to circumvent Congress’ opposition to block grant through regulatory means throughout 2019. More on Alaska’s efforts to collaborate with the Administration is available here. In response to this most recent development, ANCOR has requested a meeting with OMB to discuss the implications block grants could have for people with disabilities, because Medicaid is the primary source of funding for disability supports in the U.S. In 2017, ANCOR opposed Congressional efforts – backed by the Administration – to block grant Medicaid because as written they harmed people with disabilities.

As written by Politico Pro:

“’State Medicaid Director Letter: Medicaid Value and Accountability Demonstration Opportunity’ was listed as pending review on the White House Office of Management and Budget’s website. The plan, while its exact scope is unclear, has been under development for months.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma has pushed to institute spending limits and other policies to curb Obamacare’s expansion of the safety net program to millions of low-income adults, arguing it is a departure from Medicaid’s core mission to care for more vulnerable populations. If the guidance is released and any model is approved, the move would all but certainly be challenged in court and be scrutinized by Democrats in Congress.”