Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Republicans’ Health Care Task Force released its final report, offering a blueprint of Republican policies to reform our nation’s healthcare laws. Included in the report is support for Medicaid block grants, an idea promoted by Rep. Todd Rokita through H.R. 4362, the State Health Flexibility Act, which the Congressional Budget Office has scored as saving $2.25 trillion over 10 years. Rep. Rokita has introduced this block grant proposal for the last three Congresses, and led the effort to include Medicaid block grant language in the last five budgets. The bill has had 131 cosponsors since the 112th Congress, and Medicaid block grants have had 97% acceptance within the Republican caucus as measured by five floor budget votes. Rep. Rokita had this to say following the release of the final report.
“With this report, we have laid out our blueprint for repealing Obamacare and bringing power and responsibility back to the states on healthcare issues. The report’s block grant language reflects both conservative values and the work that many conservatives have championed during my tenure on the House Budget Committee. I commend and thank Speaker Ryan, the Task Force, and Task Force Chairmen on a job well-done in presenting a better way forward.”
The block grant proposal supported by House Republicans would return to states the amount of money spent on Medicaid using a base year after states transition individuals enrolled under Medicaid expansion to other coverage options, and provide that entire amount in one grant. This would free states from having to spend years working with the Department of Health and Human Services on waivers for their programs. It would also allow states to implement safeguards such as work requirements for able-bodied adults or stronger citizenship requirements to prevent program abuse. Each state would be able to create its own program to address the unique challenges its population faces without interference from unelected federal bureaucrats.