Capitol Correspondence - 04.21.20

Oklahoma Moves Forward With Medicaid Block Grant Plan

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The state of Oklahoma continued its efforts to be the first state to seek the Administration’s block grant waiver; after unveiling a draft proposal in March, the state has now sent an official proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval. ANCOR has been monitoring this issue because of the potentially negative precedent it sets of weakening certain Medicaid programs under the auspices of generating savings. We will keep members informed as Oklahoma and other states begin implementing the waivers. 

As reported by Politico Pulse:

The GOP-led state is officially the first to ask the Trump administration for permission to eventually block grant the safety net program, POLITICO’s Rachel Roubein reports.

“Even during this time of immense change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to move forward in our efforts to create a healthier Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement.

— A template for red states: If approved, the plan could potentially lay the groundwork for other states to move forward on the policy beloved by conservatives. It includes a work requirement and premiums for certain recipients, and the state is angling for it to begin July 1, 2021.

— Reality check: The block grant plan could be moot before it even begins. Medicaid advocates garnered enough signatures to put traditional expansion on the ballot through a constitutional amendment, which would effectively bar conservative policies like block grants and work requirements — and block Stitt’s plan.”