DeKalb, Fulton commissioners decry block grant proposal for Medicaid

Commissioners from DeKalb and Fulton counties joined with leaders from across the country Wednesday to protest proposed changes to Medicaid they say could leave poor Atlanta families without health insurance.

A plan to turn Medicaid into a block grant program would shift costs to the counties, DeKalb Commissioner Lee May said at an event in Washington. Joining May were DeKalb Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves.

Proponents of the plan say giving states a lump sum for Medicaid would allow for more innovative solutions to improve health care while better controlling costs. Georgia’s Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs will cost the state roughly $1.7 billion this fiscal year, with the federal government contributing $5 billion.

But local commissioners worry moving to block grants could mean less federal funding, which could shift costs to counties already struggling financially and eventually lead to program cuts.