Health commissioner downplays block grant idea

Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – After Gov. Mike Dunleavy told President Donald Trump Alaska was interested in receiving Medicaid dollars as a block grant, Dunleavy’s health commissioner downplayed the prospect to lawmakers.

Commissioner Adam Crum said there is no current mechanism for the federal government to provide such block grants. He said that option would be considered if available but is not the “main plan” now.

Crum called Dunleavy’s comments a “foot in the door,” and a way to let the government know Alaska is interested in pursuing options that provide more flexibility.

He told lawmakers he wasn’t actively involved in suggesting to Dunleavy that Alaska signal to Trump an interest in block grants.

In a statement, he said “early overtures” from federal partners to the Dunleavy administration included ideas like block grants.