In recent years, Congressional Republicans have proposed budgets that would attack the fundamental structure of key safety net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, and “block grant” them. Under a block grant, states receive a fixed amount of funds to spend in a designated area and must choose between competing needs. The history of block grants—particularly the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant—shows that they fail to keep up with need, do not respond to economic downturns, allow states to divert funds, and increase disparities between the opportunities offered to residents of different states.
In its latest effort to reduce access to affordable health care, CMS is reportedly working on guidance to allow states to apply for waivers that would block grant their Medicaid programs. Block granting Medicaid is not only legally dubious, but also an ill-informed policy that…
The Republican tax bills approved by the House of Representatives and currently on the Senate floor funnel the lion’s share of benefits to the wealthy and corporations, at the expense of working families.
More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, most of the island is still without power and only about half of its residents have usable water. Access to basic services such as food and health care is limited.
In a speech to state human services agencies last week, U.S Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price outlined three priorities for his department: childhood obesity, opioid addiction, and mental health.