• Medicaid Block Grant Plan Hurts Most Vulnerable Patients in the United States

    Thursday, January 30, 2020

    Statement attributable to:
    Gary LeRoy, MD
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians expresses its concern over the Administration’s newly released ‘Healthy Adult Opportunity’ proposal, which would upend the current Medicaid financing system in favor of a disruptive block grant financing mechanism. This change, which would affect all adults who are not disabled or in Medicaid long term care services, would reduce access to care in rural and other medically underserved areas; increase strain on state and local governments, physicians and other clinicians, and patients; and ultimately increase uncompensated care costs.

    “The expansion of Medicaid over the last six years has been instrumental in providing access to health care for underinsured working families, the uninsured and other vulnerable populations. Today, Medicaid plays a critical role in making quality health care coverage available to more than 70 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities.

    “Moving to a block grant system will likely limit the ability of Medicaid patients to receive preventive and needed medical care from their family physicians, and it will only increase the health disparities that exist in these communities, worsen overall health outcomes, and ultimately, increase costs.

    “The current state-federal partnership that exists for Medicaid already allows states significant flexibility to shape the program to fit their needs.

    “Family physicians understand the importance of Medicaid in providing people equal access to health care. Nearly two-thirds of family physicians accept new Medicaid patients. The AAFP is committed to ensuring that all patients have access to needed care and affordable coverage. We stand ready to work with federal and state governments to improve the Medicaid program in a way that maintains health care coverage for our country’s vulnerable and underserved populations.”

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. LeRoy, contact Megan Moriarty, 913-906-6052, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.

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    Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

    Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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