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House to vote on disapproval resolution of Medicaid block grants

House to vote on disapproval resolution of Medicaid block grants
© Greg Nash

The House will vote next week on a resolution to disapprove of the Trump administration’s new Medicaid block grant plan, Democratic leaders announced Friday. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTop Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Md.) said the vote will happen Thursday.

“Congress has a responsibility to protect Medicaid beneficiaries from the harm that would be caused by this new guidance. The goal of this new waiver is clear: reduce access to health care for millions of low-income Americans, including access to affordable prescription drugs. The Democratic-led House will not allow this challenge to health care access in our country to go unanswered,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

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The resolution is not likely to be taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate.

The controversial Medicaid plan will let states apply for a waiver to scale back Medicaid spending by converting part of their Medicaid funding into a block grant.

Democrats have been arguing the administration doesn’t have the authority to approve such drastic changes, and Medicaid advocates argue the changes would hurt low-income people and invite states to cut costs and reduce coverage. 

The vote would represent the latest effort of Democrats attempting to put Republicans in a bind on health care. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE has a negative approval rating on health care.  

Democrats took control of the House in 2018 after tying Republicans to the repeated attempts to repeal ObamaCare and arguing the GOP wants take away coverage from people with pre-existing conditions. They want to continue to position themselves as the party of health care ahead of the 2020 election.