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HHS budget proposal calls for “a new future for Medicaid”

In their budget proposal released earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shared their plans for healthcare reform, including a reversal of what the agency refers to as “the effects of the status quo’s Washington-centered, one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare.”

The plan goes on to state its support for a repeal of Obamacare and its goal to “replace the law with flexibility for states to create a free and open healthcare market tailored to their citizens’ needs.”

This reform would eliminate the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and implement a capped payment system to states, with the allotted funds being determined by the expense of covering every resident who is eligible for the program. Additionally, payment increases would be tied to inflation rather than medical costs.

Medicaid reform under HHS’ new budget plan would also make several changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by reducing funds by $17.2 billion in 2019 and changing the system from one where food stamps can essentially be used as cash in grocery stores, to a boxed food delivery program that would include shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned milk, and fruits and vegetables, says the Washington Post.

The reform would also require that low-income individuals work in order to qualify for Federal assistance.

Although the budget plan is no more than a proposal at the present time, it clearly highlights President Trump’s intention.