GOP’s Plans for Medicaid Would Limit Access to Life-Saving Drugs, Critics Claim

Republican lawmakers are still in the process of creating a proposal for overhauling the post-ACA Medicaid program, but patient advocates and others don’t like what they see so far, STAT reports. Medicaid is funded by the federal government but operated by the states. The GOP is considering issuing block grants that would include per-capita spending caps on just want can be spent on each patient.

States would determine Medicaid eligibility and the amount of Medicaid coverage each beneficiary would receive, all of which would make the program fiscally sustainable, say GOP lawmakers. Critics, however, say that would limit patient access to blockbuster drugs now, and for any such drugs that may be developed in the future.

Barbara Otto, CEO of Health and Disability Advocates, tells STAT that, “It’s a huge concern. When you’re under per-capita caps, you’re not able to be innovative.”

Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, admits that, “It’s an appropriate concern. We’ve had these issues before, and that will come up. That will have to be hashed out.”

Source: STAT