Per Capita Caps vs. Block Grants in Medicaid (Updated 2023)

Executive Summary

What is the difference between per capita caps and block grants in Medicaid? Both are tools long championed by Medicaid detractors as ways to supposedly improve the Medicaid guarantee. In this updated one-page fact sheet, NHeLP explains that the differences are minor, but both would produce similar results — either tool would cost states billions of dollars and slash health care services for older adults, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and children in poverty, and other vulnerable populations.

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