State Rep. Mike Ball (R - Madison) on Thursday said Alabama could soon have more control over how taxpayer health care dollars are spent within the state following Thursday's passage of the Medicaid Block Grant Compact, a measure designed to combat the most overreaching expansions and mandates of ObamaCare implementation in the state.
"Medicaid currently gobbles up more than a third of the money in the General Fund budget, but the federal government gives Alabama and other states little authority to decide how the program is run or how those dollars are spent," Ball said. "In essence, Medicaid is a clear cut case of taxation without representation. Washington, D.C.'s cookie cutter approach to Medicaid has given us a bloated, out-of-control monster that threatens to one day bankrupt our state, and it's time for Alabamians to be given a chance to put the monster on a diet."
Ball noted that regulations and requirements associated with ObamaCare threaten to make the already unaffordable Medicaid program even more expensive for the state to operate.
House Bill 109, which passed 68 to 27, would allow Alabama to join with several other states in asking Congress for more control over important decision-making in the Medicaid program, including, but not limited to, who is allowed to enroll and what benefits a participant may receive.
The U.S. Constitution recognizes the legality of interstate compacts, which are agreements made among the individual states, and they become effective upon Congressional approval.
Alabama's participation in the compact would, upon Congressional ratification, provide primary responsibility for regulating health care to the state, rather than the federal government. Federal health care dollars would be awarded to the state as a block grant, which allows Alabama officials to determine how they can best be spent.
"By passing this bill, Alabama is taking an important step toward loosening ObamaCare's suffocating grip on our lives, our money, and our health care choices." Ball said.
The bill, which is part of the House Republican Caucus' 2013 "We Dare Defend Our Rights" Legislative Agenda, now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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