GOP plan could cut 44M from Medicaid rolls

A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute concludes that a GOP plan to convert the Medicaid program to block grants to states and repeal the Affordable Care Act could cut coverage to as many as 44 million over the next decade, report the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

The program, designed to cut $750 billion from the Medicaid program over the next ten years, would hit states that have not built up their safety nets in recent years especially hard. Florida, for example, could see funding cut as much as 44 percent. Even states such as California, which has implemented a variety of programs to generate more matching funds from the federal government, would see funding drop 31 percent.

The block grants would grow at the consumer rate of inflation, but not the much higher medical inflation rate, a gap that would inevitably lead to coverage reductions.

"The repeal of the ACA combined with the adoption of the Medicaid block grant would add millions more to the number of uninsured Americans and compromise Medicaid's role as the health safety net in the next recession," said Diane Rowland, executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

The plan, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would also hit disabled and elderly "dual-eligible" seniors enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid disproportionately, as 64 percent of spending was earmarked for these groups.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved the plan to transform Medicaid last month, but the Democratic-controlled Senate is not expected to vote in favor of the measure.

For more:
- read the New York Times article
- read the Los Angeles Times article
- read the study

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