Pennsylvania Will Not Participate in Trump Administration Scheme to Cut Medicaid

January 30, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf and Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller today made clear Pennsylvania will not apply for a Medicaid block grant proposal from the Trump Administration that could lead to cuts in Medicaid enrollment or increased costs. The Trump Administration’s proposed rule would allow states to fund their Medicaid expansion through a block grant, limiting Federal funding available, which would force states to restrict the number of people who can receive coverage and limit critical services that are offered.

Governor Tom Wolf said:

“This proposed rule is no more than another attempt by the Trump Administration to dismantle the single most important health insurance program in the country. Pursuing this approach would put our country’s poorest families in even more peril when health care needs arise unexpectedly.

“I expanded Medicaid in Pennsylvania to allow for more than 700,000 people to have reliable health care access. Pennsylvania will not go backwards. I will not risk jeopardizing our progress by going along with another short-sighted, insensitive plan to cut Medicaid from the Trump administration.

“Low-income families deserve to be able to go to the doctor and have access to treatment and prescription drugs. This scheme is just another attempt to rob those families of that right.”

Secretary of Human Services Teresa Miller said:

“Changing any part of Medicaid to a block grant structure is the federal government permitting states to grow health inequities experienced by the poorest Americans. This cruel policy will directly target people who have the most opportunity to see their life and circumstances improved by consistent access to necessary health care and will keep people trapped in the cycle of poverty.

“Federal standards exist for these programs to preserve a baseline level of care and access for all Americans. We already know that a person’s health outcomes can be determined by their zip code, but states that choose this path will cut off health care coverage for their lowest income residents. These are people who don’t have the resources to move to a state that could be more generous.

“Medicaid is not welfare, it is health care – something all people deserve. These attacks on this basic lifeline are cruel, especially given that they come from people in positions of power who do not face the challenges of poverty. Instead, they’re creating more obstacles for low-income families to overcome. By allowing states to move to a block grant structure, the Trump Administration is endorsing a war on the poor – the people they should be working to protect and lift out of poverty.”

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