Missouri lawmakers seek to convert Medicaid to block grant

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to overhaul the state’s Medicaid system without waiting for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress to act first.

A Senate committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would direct the state Department of Social Services to seek a “global waiver” from federal Medicaid requirements to remake the state’s program.

Sponsoring Sen. David Sater says the intent is to ask the federal government to provide Missouri’s Medicaid money as a block grant, giving the state greater flexibility over how to spend it. Federal Medicaid dollars currently are provided on a matching basis for each state dollar that’s spent on health care services.

Sater said he plans to bring the bill up for a committee vote next week.