Trump administration to issue guidance on Medicaid block grants: 5 things to know

The Trump administration is slated to release a guidance on Medicaid block grants, possibly in January, two people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Five things to know:

1. If federal officials approve waivers to change Medicaid funding to block grants, it could be among the administration's most controversial changes to the 55-year-old Medicaid program, according to the report.

2. Under current regulations, the federal government matches state Medicaid spending. A block grant program would mean a state would instead receive a capped lump sum of federal funding to use.

3. Block grants have already gained support from lawmakers in Tennessee, Alaska and Oklahoma, according to WSJ.

4. Proponents of the block grants argue they will give states more flexibility over how their program is funded, as well as free them from some federal requirements. Opponents argue the limited funds would lead to thousands of people losing Medicaid coverage, and question the legality of waiving federal funding under Medicaid.

5. The possible new guidance comes after CMS withdrew a proposed guidance on Medicaid block grants and per-capita cap programs from the White House Office of Management and Budget website in November 2019.

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