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Capitol Correspondence - 08.18.20

Oklahoma Withdraws Its Medicaid Block Grant Proposal

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ANCOR has been following the Trump administration’s efforts to create block grants for the Medicaid expansion because of the precedent it could potentially set for the broader Medicaid program. As reported by Politico Pulse:

“Oklahoma is pulling its conservative plan to alter Medicaid financing, dealing a major blow to the Trump administration’s effort to remake the safety net program, POLITICO’s Rachel Roubein reports.

The decision came after Oklahoma voters in late June narrowly passed a ballot initiative expanding Medicaid that also appeared to bar Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s block grant proposal.

A spokesperson with the state’s Medicaid authority confirmed that the withdrawal of its plan — which had already been submitted to CMS — was due to the constraints in the ballot initiative, and there is no chance the proposal will be revived later.

— Oklahoma was supposed to serve as the test case for Medicaid block grants. It was the only state that had taken the administration up on its attempt to restructure financing for the safety net program.

The White House’s other major initiative to reshape Medicaid — by tying benefits to work — has been stymied by the courts, leaving it without an overhaul of the program covering 1 in 5 Americans ahead of Election Day.”