We agree with your Oct. 9 editorial “Making Medicaid a block grant would curb vital services.” Medicaid provides long-term care to millions of seniors and critical services that help people with disabilities live independently, and enables millions of children to see a doctor when they are sick. Mitt Romney’s radical proposal to transform Medicaid into a block grant, which would become more and more inadequate every year, would shift the rising costs of health care from the federal government to the states. States would either have to kick in a lot more of their funds or would have to drastically cut benefits for seniors, people with disabilities, children, and health care providers. This is not leadership; it’s passing the buck.
Massachusetts has been a leader in providing our citizens with affordable health coverage. According to the latest Census Bureau data from its American Community Survey, almost every child in Massachusetts is covered by health insurance. In 2011, 98.3 percent of children in Massachusetts were covered.
The Medicaid program has made this possible. There are answers to the rising cost of health care, but drastically changing Medicaid to a block grant, further squeezing our state budgets, and exposing millions of our most vulnerable citizens to losing their health care coverage is not an answer.