Medicaid Per Capita Caps: When Democrats Supported and Republicans Opposed Them, 1995–1997

Mercatus Study pdf

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by Doug Badger

ABSTRACT:

Congressional Republicans have called for restructuring Medicaid, reviving a debate that has largely remained dormant for two decades. During the mid-1990s, Congress and President Clinton advanced competing Medicaid reform proposals. Republicans urged that the federal government issue Medicaid block grants to states. The White House and congressional Democrats proposed instead to place per capita limits on federal Medicaid payments to states. The most salient difference between these approaches is that per capita allotments retain the individual entitlement to Medicaid while block grants generally do not. Today, Republicans who once resisted Medicaid per capita allotments support them, and Democrats who backed such allotments oppose them. Given this legislative history, policymakers seeking common ground might look to Medicaid per capita allotments as a point of departure.

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About the author

Doug Badger

Galen Institute Senior Fellow
Doug Badger’s career in public policy spans more than three decades and includes stints as a policy adviser to the White House, the U.S. Senate, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration…. Full Biography