Provider groups and lawmakers wasted no time criticizing the House Republicans' fiscal 2013 budget plan that would offer a premium-support model for Medicare and shift Medicaid to a block grant program for states. The plan was released earlier by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
“Medicaid works. It provides coverage to more than 60 million Americans at lower administrative costs than private insurance and lower per-capita costs than Medicare,” Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (PDF), said in a statement Tuesday. “A diverse program covering diverse populations, Medicaid is a lifeline of support for children, who make up more than half of all beneficiaries; the elderly, who rely on the program for long-term-care support; and working families, who do not have access to other affordable coverage,” he continued. “The Medicaid block grants included in the House budget resolution do nothing to reduce healthcare costs—they merely shift the costs onto cash-strapped states and providers and eliminate the federal guarantee of coverage.”