Here We Go Again: Trump Admin to attempt to shove Medicaid block grants through without legislation

BLOCK GRANTS FOR MEDICAID — A Trump plan is in the works. Scoop today, behind the firewall right now.

The Trump administration is plotting a path for Medicaid block grants for states, a longstanding GOP goal to rein in spending on the entitlement program. News from me and @ddiamond

— Rachana D. Pradhan (@rachanadixit) January 11, 2019

— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 11, 2019

Per admin sources, CMS has guidance to states in the works on the topic. Officials also very aware of the political sensitivities surrounding such a plan.

— Rachana D. Pradhan (@rachanadixit) January 11, 2019

"Political sensitivities". That's one way of putting it. The article's behind a firewall, but I can already figure out the gist: A locked-in amount which will never keep up with actual healthcare costs per year, resulting in millions of people either losing Medicaid coverage altogether or seeing the services provided by Medicaid grow increasingly stingier and crappier.

Joan Alker of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children & Families sums it up:

This is a big deal. I have seen this movie before, but this round is likely to be even more of a horror show. When the attempt to undermine Medicaid fails to pass Congress, the administration turns to waivers to pursue this radical approach. Florida is top of my list to watch.

— Joan Alker (@JoanAlker1) January 11, 2019

Here's another story on the block grant inanity from The Hill's Peter Sullivan:

After the failure of that repeal effort, the Trump administration is now considering issuing guidance to states encouraging them to apply for caps on federal Medicaid spending in exchange for additional flexibility on how they run the program, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The administration’s discussions on the issue were first reported by Politico on Friday.

Any move toward allowing Medicaid block grants for states is sure to provoke an outcry from congressional Democrats, who now have the power to conduct additional oversight with their majority in the House.

Protect Our Care, a pro-ObamaCare group, sent out an email to reporters about the news with the headline "Here We Go Again: Trump Tries To End Medicaid As We Know It."

There also could be questions about whether it is legal for the administration to make such changes without Congress.

Add a dozen more lawsuits to the pile, folks...