Overview of Medicaid Per Capita Cap Proposals
The House Republican Plan (“A Better Way”) released on June 22, 2016, includes a proposal to convert federal Medicaid financing from an open-ended entitlement to a per capita allotment or a block grant (based on a state choice). This proposal is part of a larger package designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reduce federal spending for health care. Often tied to deficit reduction, proposals to convert Medicaid’s financing structure to a per capita cap or block grant have been proposed before. Such changes represent a fundamental change in the financing structure of the program with major implications for beneficiaries, providers, states and localities. Key things to understand about a per capita cap include the following: how a per capita cap works, key design challenges, and implications of a per capita cap.