HB 5 Texas Medicare-Medicaid Block Grant Compact

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Anne Dunkelberg /(512) 320-0222 x 102

June 6, 2011

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CPPP testified in opposition to House Bill (HB) 5 of the first called Session. HB 5 would allow Texas to ask Congress’ permission to convert all federal health spending for Texas into a block grant based on 2010 levels. Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and all public and mental health block grants would be included; only military, veterans, and Indian Health funding would be excluded. As proposed, Texas could choose to eliminate any current federal standards for these programs (including who cover). The House Committee on State Sovereignty approved the bill for a vote by the full House.

April and May 2011 tracking polls from the Kaiser Foundation find most Americans oppose the idea of converting Medicaid to block grant financing to reduce the federal deficit, and the public remains opposed to major Medicare spending cuts as a way to reduce the federal deficit.