January 30, 2020

Voices for Utah Children Opposes New Trump Administration Block Grant Guidance

Today the Trump Administration released new Medicaid block grant options for states. We have seen previous attempts to block grant Medicaid; we continue to oppose this radical restructuring to the Medicaid program. The majority of Utah Medicaid enrollees are children, so any financing changes to the Medicaid program will inevitably impact their coverage. Changes to Medicaid’s financing structure through a block grant would create shortfalls in state funding. These would lead to limits placed on the program, such as a reduction in benefits or fewer children covered.  The impact of these cuts would be even greater when utilization or enrollment goes up, such as during a recession, when more children become newly eligible for and enroll in Medicaid. But Medicaid block grants not only hurt kids' coverage, but parents' too. In Utah over 12,000 parents rely on Medicaid- and that number is growing every day, thanks to Utah's recent expansion of Medicaid. Parents need guaranteed coverage in order to take care of their families. Medicaid block grants would mean cuts to parent benefits or eligibility, leading to worse care and greater family financial stressors, which in turn affects the well-being and development of children. This new federal guidance seeks to undo much of the progress Utah has just begun in its new expansion. Utah needs to ensure families and kids can enroll in the care they need, without any more disruptions or delays.