Press Release – Disability Rights Activists Send a Message to Administrator Verrma: No Block Gants to Medicaid!


For More information:
Kingsley Floyd: (617) 997-7519

WHAT: Disability Rights Activists Send a Message to Administrator Verrma: No Block Gants to Medicaid!
WHERE: Health and Human Services Headquarters 200 Independence Ave. SW Washington
WHEN: January 30, 2020, 10:30am EST

Seema Verma, Administrator of the federal Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services, will release guidelines for states to follow in requesting block grant funding for their Medicaid programs Thursday, January 30th.

DC Metro ADAPT, as part of ADAPT’s network of grassroots disability activists, OPPOSE block grants in any aspect of the Medicaid program, state or federal.

“Block grant” is nothing more than a rationing system that reduces federal obligations to states while allowing States “flexibility” to “relax” or avoid entirely certain federal requirements and rules. These federal requirements are lifelines to people with disabilities, older Texans and people with chronic health conditions who are living in their own homes and communities, or want to do so.

Block grants target people with disabilities and people with chronic health conditions as “highest need beneficiaries” and limit the care available to us by restricting funding for necessary services and supports. These funding restrictions allow States to limit types of services, cap benefits, set funding caps per person and so on. Block grants set the federal funding for states at a level amount, offering budget certainty, but severely restricting any anticipated growth from people aging into the program, and with a tradeoff of the health, safety, and freedom of our people. Medicaid currently provides health insurance coverage, and in Texas, long term services and supports, all of which serve to keep people healthy and independent in their own homes.

DC Metro ADAPT is delivering a message to Administrator Verma at the HHS Offices at 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC at 10:30 EST, demanding the administration abandon efforts to block grant Medicaid, and begin a long-overdue conversation with the grassroots disability community to work instead on ways CMS can develop programs, policies, and supports for the integration of people with all types of disabilities fully into community life, including investment in community infrastructure and workforce development.

DC Metro ADAPT is joining ADAPT Chapters from across the country who are sending their messages of opposition to Medicaid block grants to the regional CMS Directors Thursday.