PRESS RELEASE

AAPCHO Opposes CMS Guidance Allowing States to Block Grant Medicaid

January 30, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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WASHINGTON – Today, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) issued the following statement from Adam Carbullido, the organization’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, opposing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) release of guidance to states that encourage them to pursue block grants for their Medicaid programs:

“AAPCHO strongly opposes any move to block grant state Medicaid programs and the unprecedented guidance CMS released today. This CMS guidance threatens the health and well-being of low-income Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and will lead to worse health outcomes for vulnerable populations in states that pursue these block grants.

“Our member health centers in the U.S. territories where Medicaid already operates as a block grant, clearly shows that this funding structure simply does not work. These block grants regularly force territorial governments to cut essential benefits and divert limited local resources to meet the health care needs in these communities. Worse yet, the Medicaid programs in the territories are among the most limited in the country, and funding shortfalls are exacerbated by unanticipated events including disease epidemics and natural disasters. When the federal Medicaid block grant runs out, the territories have had to cut provider payments and freeze their programs. As a result, beneficiaries receive fewer needed services and have to delay or forgo care.

“Furthermore, CMS’s guidance could adversely affect community health centers across the country. It is deeply concerning that CMS will allow state Medicaid programs to waive long-standing requirements for funding and services for health centers that have made them among the most cost-efficient and effective health care providers in the nation.

“Congress has repeatedly rejected efforts to block grant Medicaid. This guidance subverts congressional intent and the will of the American people who have overwhelmingly voted to support maintaining and strengthening Medicaid. AAPCHO calls on states to ignore this guidance, and for CMS to rescind it. Medicaid’s long-standing and successful federal-state partnership is critical for states and patients alike.”

About AAPCHO

AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit www.aapcho.org.

Contact

Kristine Cecile Alarcon, MPH, (510) 671-5054, kalarcon@aapcho.org

Media Relations

Beverly Quintana
(510) 272-9536 x112
bquintana[at]aapcho[dot]org

Kristine Cecile Alarcon
(510) 671-5054
kalarcon[at]aapcho[dot]org

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