Tennessee seeks to overhaul Medicaid with block grants

Tennessee seeks to overhaul Medicaid with block grants
Tennessee Republican lawmakers who have long balked at taking millions in federal dollars to expand Medicaid are moving forward with a plan (Source: Gray News)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Republican lawmakers who have long balked at taking millions in federal dollars to expand Medicaid are moving forward with a plan that would overhaul how the state provides health care to its lower-income and disabled residents.

A handful of GOP state lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a proposal calling on the federal government to send Tennessee a fixed amount of money each year in the form of block grants.

Currently, the federal government pays an agreed-upon percentage of each state's Medicaid costs, no matter how much they rise in any given year.

Republicans have argued this system gives states little incentive to keep expenses under control.

However, using block grants has sparked key questions as no state has been given permission to rely on them for their Medicaid program.