Federal Block Grants Have Been a Big Financial Loser for the States

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~ Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times ~

 A key element of the Republicans’ plan for replacing Obamacare is transforming the costly Medicaid program into a series of block grants to the states. The idea is to save the federal government billions of dollars in the coming years while giving state officials more flexibility to set eligibility requirements and spending levels to provide health care services to the nation’s poor and disabled.  

But there is one serious catch: While the extensive use of block grants has proven over the years to be a great financial boon for Congress and the federal government in attempting to rein in spending, it has been a bad deal for the states and hundreds of millions of Americans dependent on federal assistance.

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