Both proposals represent the most sweeping overhauls to Medicaid in a generation. Some budget analysts and advocates have said the proposals would decrease funding by 25 to 30 percent and leave service providers as wide-ranging as hospitals and school districts fighting for federal dollars each year.George said block grants would fundamentally change the way Pennsylvania allocates for psychiatric services, speech and language therapy, social workers and in-school special education.
Pennsylvania’s use of Medicaid for special needs services dates to a 1988 federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It's not a very stable funding method, George said, and the Republican proposals would be drastic.
“Medicaid was always intended to supplement education,” George said. “In Pennsylvania, you could argue it supplants education."
People moved to Pennsylvania in Droves for years because we had better services than most other states. Now, if these Medicaid cuts and block grants pass, it just won't matter where you are any more.“Once you block grant a program, it diminishes over several years, and can eventually go away,” Valentina Viletto, director of MCIU’s community and government relations, said. “When you hear about privatization, this is the beginning of that kind of process. This is a national issue.”