Durbin Doubts Viability of Block Grants for Medicaid

Jan 23, 2017

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin had harsh words today in Springfield for Republican proposals in Congress to repeal Obamacare and give states more responsibility in running Medicaid.  President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have both said they’re in favor of so-called block grants. 

It would transform Medicaid into a system where each state receives a bulk payment from the federal government to pay for healthcare for the poor, elderly and disabled. That means each state would have to figure out on its own how to direct that money and what services to provide.

In an appearance with downstate Illinois hospital executives, Durbin said the budget impasse means Illinois is already struggling to pay its bills to hospitals.

“And the notion that Medicaid or some part of it is going to be managed by the state in its current fiscal situation is really scary.”

Governor Bruce Rauner has also criticized block grants. Last week he said past mismanagement of Medicaid means Illinois is not ready for the responsibility.