Landgraf urges Congress for Medicaid block grant

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed legislation urging congress to establish a Medicaid block grant program in Texas.

House Concurrent Resolution 29, authored by Landgraf, petitions the state's congressional delegation to pursue block grant legislation in Washington, D.C. to allow Texas to administer its own health care for the poor.

"Medicaid costs in Texas have grown exponentially in recent years and are crowding out room in our state budget for other essential services such as education, higher education, and transportation," Landgraf said. "A Medicaid block grant would give Texas the flexibility to better fund those things while still keeping our commitment to the most vulnerable of all Texans."

The Medicaid program is unsustainable financially for the state as Medicaid spending in Texas is experiencing steady, long-term growth. In 2001, Medicaid consumed 20% of the All Funds budget but now accounts for nearly 30% of the 2018-19 budget. Because Medicaid is a federally mandated program the state of Texas has no power to amend the mandatory benefit and eligibility requirements of the program.

"I believe Texas can administer the Medicaid program more efficiently, while also giving us greater certainty in the budget from year to year," Landgraf added.

The 86th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 27, 2019.