Medicaid Per Capita Caps Jeopardize the Health of Children and Other Vulnerable PopulationsHealth
As the 114th Congress moves into full swing, Members are expected to consider a variety of proposals to rein in entitlement spending. On the Medicaid front, policymakers will again promote a “per capita cap” on federal Medicaid expenditures to reduce federal spending and score budget savings. While this approach has been discussed as an alternative to a Medicaid block grant, the effect of per capita caps would be equally devastating for the vulnerable populations that rely on Medicaid, including primarily, low-income children, seniors, and the disabled. Like a block grant, a per capita cap serves only to cut federal costs by setting arbitrary limits on federal Medicaid spending. Not only would a per capita cap jeopardize the Medicaid entitlement by underfunding states, it would force serious cuts in benefits and services for the vulnerable populations Medicaid is designed to protect.