More significantly, the Texas legislature wants Medicaid funds in a block grant so that they can spend it where they think it's needed rather than Washington telling them.
The Texas Legislature approved a bill Monday that would both compel the state to push the Obama administration to convert Texas's Medicaid program into a block grant and defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
The omnibus health bill also includes a number of other controversial provisions, including plans to save $400 million over the next year by increasing the use of Medicaid managed care.The legislation now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry, who has been generally supportive of both the Medicaid reforms, as well as anti-abortion language.
When previously asked about Senate Bill 7, Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed would not speak specifically to pending legislation, but did comment on the governor's broad support for block grants.
"[Gov. Perry] would prefer local or state solutions to Texas' health care challenges rather than one-size-fits-all bureaucracy from the federal government, and block grants are one of the options Texas has considered," she previously told POLITICO.
Nothing new about block grants. Cities especially have benefited from them. But I don't believe anything as large as Medicaid block grant has ever been attempted. It sets up an interesting clash between congress and the states if this idea catches on.