ATR President Grover Norquist today sent the following letter to Congressman Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) in support of H.R. 4160, the "State Health Flexibility Act":

[Full letter]

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, I am pleased to support H.R. 4160, the “State Health Flexibility Act.”  This bill would block grant Medicaid and S-CHIP to the states.

H.R. 4160 sets spending for these programs at current-year levels for the next decade, saving taxpayers $1.8 trillion in anticipated spending absent reform.  In exchange for this fiscal responsibility, states will have full control to determine program benefits, eligibility, and reimbursement rates.  “One size fits all” will no longer be the order of the day for these programs.

If this all sounds familiar to taxpayers, it should.  In 1996, the Republican Congress block granted welfare to the states.  States received a frozen amount of money, in exchange for being able to have a free hand in redesigning their assistance programs.  As a result, welfare rolls were cut in half in less than a decade.

We should expect similar results here.  Medicaid and S-CHIP are literally bankrupting state governments.  That’s why twenty-nine states have requested that the federal government give them the ability to design health insurance programs for the poor and working poor that work better in their state.  States can make these programs better with the same taxpayer dollars they already have, as was proven by the 1996 welfare block grant.  In fact, there are dozens of means-tested programs the states can run better than the federal government, all while saving taxpayers money relative to the status quo.

The alternative is Medicaid and S-CHIP programs that continue to spiral out of control and wreck state budgets.  Obamacare’s ramp-up of these programs will result in an estimated 17 to 25 million people on the rolls—a completely-unsustainable burden on taxpayers.

All Congressmen who want to repeat the success of the 1996 welfare reform should support H.R. 4160, the “State Health Flexibility Act.”