Block grants are an administrative process to establish a mechanism for a government to provide direct financial support to specific public health programs. The US Department of Health and Human Services used one of these mechanisms, the National Health Board, under President Harry Truman in 1948 to improve health care in some rural areas. Other funding mechanisms might include the use of special interest groups to lobby the government, or a community health officer who advocates for a project with a specific goal or funding level for local agencies.
How often is block grant funding used?
A recent study by the Public Knowledge Project found that “from the beginning of the ACA’s implementation in 2015, more than one million people nationwide have received federal health insurance funding on the basis of the block grant program, which is intended to cover the broadest range of uninsured Americans. Since the end of 2015, more than 1.2 million people have been funded on these grounds.”
In general, it is only in the last few years that state-level block grants have been considered more than a gimmick, as state and local health officials have increasingly sought to expand insurance coverage and provide public services without burdening their budgets by federal dollars – as opposed to more recent block grants intended to reduce federal regulations.
Why is there controversy over block grant funding?
For years, critics have argued that these type of funding mechanisms would increase costs and decrease coverage to the public. But in the past few years there has been increasing attention to funding block grants and it is becoming more frequent for states to seek federal support through block grant funding.
This has sparked a significant debate, with some states citing concerns about unintended consequences for beneficiaries and inefficiencies arising from larger states or states with larger populations. In addition, there’s often pushback from states that want support of the Affordable Care Act to go to them, and it’s not clear that the federal government fully understands what they want to ask them to do.
Why has the GOP embraced funding block grants?
There’s a broad ideological divide over them within the Republicans. Most GOP lawmakers believe they are better suited to do health insurance regulation than the Affordable Care Act, while some conservatives also seem wary of blocking government programs.
One big concern comes from concerns about the effectiveness of block grants due to their inability to effectively target the money to specific projects within states. As many states have expanded private insurance exchanges, one of the central functions of these government-run programs has been helping to manage the exchanges, while the Department of Health and
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