Nashville Public Radio: Why The Possibility Of TennCare Converting To A Block Grant Has Opponents Growing Worried (March 13, 2019)
Health care advocates worry that Tennessee will be one of the first states to seek a block grant for its Medicaid program. A block grant is a lump sum that would allow the state greater flexibility in spending federal money. However it is capped and would not increase even if the Medicaid population grew. Currently, the federal government pays for two-thirds of the expenses of Tennessee’s 1.3 million beneficiaries.
“It would be a radical, catastrophic change to Medicaid,” said Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson. “The problem with the block grant is you eliminate everything… you’re eliminating all these protections. You’re locking down the revenue at a level that almost assuredly is insufficient.”