First Focus Releases New Report, “Medicaid Per Capita Caps Jeopardize the Health of Children and Other Vulnerable Populations”

First Focus, a non-partisan children’s advocacy organization, has issued a new report on why some proposals to cut mandatory spending, particularly by imposing “per capita caps” on Medicaid expenditures, would be bad for people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. This mechanism would replace the current federal-state Medicaid structure by placing arbitrary limits on federal support to states based on subpopulations (e.g. children, adults, individuals with disabilities, seniors).  The analysis concludes that these caps would be just as harmful as block grants. Additionally, the report outlines that these caps would: (1) lead to administrative complexity, requiring carve outs of the Medicaid population to decide different funding categories, (2) shift costs to the states once the cap is reached, and (3) lead states to ration care by cutting reimbursement rates to providers or  increasing barriers to coverage for eligible people.  Sen. Hatch (R-UT) has already introduced a bill suggesting the use of per capita caps.  See the full analysis here.

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