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Stephanie Pellitt

Policy and Advocacy Associate

CBO Reports ACA Replacement Bill Would Slash Medicaid Funding, Coverage

March 16, 2017 | ACA | Medicaid | Comments
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The American Health Care Act (AHCA) will in result in dramatic reductions to Medicaid coverage and cuts to spending, according the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis released this week. Over the next ten years, the AHCA is projected to cut $880 billion dollars from Medicaid, shifting the burden of these costs to states. These cuts to Medicaid and rollback of Medicaid expansion will result in a loss of coverage for an estimated 14 million beneficiaries. The CBO report is the latest wedge causing divisions within the Republican caucus.

CBO REPORT

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score released Monday projects that in the next ten years, 14 million people would lose Medicaid coverage under the proposed AHCA – this is more than the number who gained Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If this bill passes, 14 million people who rely on Medicaid will not get the care they need, including millions for whom Medicaid provides treatment for substance use disorders or mental illnesses. Additionally, the CBO report projects an overall cost savings of $337 billion, nearly all of which is achieved by slashing Medicaid funding by 25% and severely reducing its enrollment. Read more about National Council’s position on the American Health Care Act here.

REACTION IN CONGRESS

While Democrats have stood united in the opposition to the AHCA, the legislation has received mixed reactions from Republicans. Republican members of Congress and Republican Governors from Medicaid expansion states have spoken out against the American Health Care Act’s cuts to Medicaid. One day after CBO’s report, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison said “I do not support this bill as it stands,” in an interview with CNN. Meanwhile, another faction of the Republican party asserts that the bill does not go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act. This faction includes House Freedom Caucus members and Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

NEXT STEPS FOR ADVOCATES

On Thursday, the House Budget Committee approved The American Health Care Act, which means the bill could reach the House floor as early as next week. Now is a critical time to contact your members of Congress and join fight to protect Medicaid. Find out how by going to our Unite for Behavioral Health (Unite4BH) page.