Tags: Healthcare Reform | Paul Ryan | AHCA | Medicaid

WashPost: Medicaid Change in AHCA Could Be Roadblock to GOP Plans

Image: WashPost: Medicaid Change in AHCA Could Be Roadblock to GOP Plans
Paul Ryan (Reuters)

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 10:52 AM

The American Health Care Act proposal changes the way the government funds Medicaid, a program that covers 68 million low-income people, including children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled.

That change could be a roadblock to Republican plans to replace Obamacare, The Washington Post reported.

In the current system, the government pays each state a share of its Medicaid costs. In the AHCA proposal, the government would provide for each beneficiary a fixed amount, regardless of how much or how little that beneficiary needs.

"Medicaid is probably 50 times more complicated and controversial. It's way more money, it affects more people, it's more about state-to-state spending and not just partisan politics," Tom Scully, President George W. Bush’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, told the Post.

Under the AHCA proposal, "Many people who have health care are going to lose it," Mario Molina, Molina Healthcare president, told the Post.

Medicaid affects more people than Obamacare. It still covers 57 million people, almost six times more than the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. That number does not count the 11 million who joined up when the ACA allowed states to cover more people, the Post reported.

The share that the government pays to Medicaid changes from state to state.

"Ballooning costs are threatening the very viability of the program and our fiscal future. So what we propose is to modernize the Medicaid program,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

States have had no reason to rein themselves in on spending on Medicaid, Scully said.

"If you put in a per capita cap, it's going to be relatively harder on the states than it has been. But it's totally the right thing to do."

Critics say that the AHCA proposal might not change as the numbers of low-income elderly increase. And if new treatments arise for illnesses such as Alzheimer's, payments would not adjust, according to Vikki Wachino, President Obama’s Medicaid director.

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The American Health Care Act proposal changes the way the government funds Medicaid, a program that covers 68 million low-income people, including children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. That change could be a roadblock to Republican plans to replace...
AHCA, Medicaid
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2017-52-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 10:52 AM
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