District Council 57

10 Things to Know About Medicaid and the Republican Health Care Repeal Bill

Retired social worker Patricia Byrd explains how repealing the Affordable Care Act will hurt her family. (Credit: AFSCME)

Congress members are rushing forward with their health care repeal bill, despite the growing fears and mounting opposition from people across the country.

Just this week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office score of the House Republicans' "American Health Care Act" showed that 24 million people would lose health care coverage within a decade.

The health care repeal bill will take health coverage away from millions of people, raise costs for millions more, end Medicaid expansion and slash vital Medicaid funding and undermine the quality of our health care. It will also give hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthy and big insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Here are 10 things to know about Medicaid and what the Republican health care repeal bill will mean for it:

  1. Medicaid provides critical coverage for seniors, children and people with disabilities. Medicaid provides nursing home and other long-term care to millions of seniors, covers important services that help people with disabilities live independently, and enables millions of children to see a doctor. In fact, Medicaid helps pay the costs for the long term care of about 6.9 million seniors nationwide - and more than 60% of all nursing home residents - and plays a key role in helping families afford quality nursing home care for their elderly parents and family members with disabilities.
  2. People want Medicaid to continue as it is today: In the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, 65 percent of Americans want to see Medicaid “continue as it is today” and 84 percent believe it is important that states who have expanded Medicaid continue to receive those funds.
  3. Effectively ends Medicaid expansion: The health care repeal bill effectively ends Medicaid expansion for the 31 states who expanded their programs - it makes it impossible for states to continue their programs.
  4. Millions will lose coverage: The health care repeal bill ending Medicaid expansion will mean 11 million children, people with disabilities, hard-working families, and seniors would lose their insurance.
  5. Changes funding for state Medicaid programs - ending the program as we know it: The Republican health care repeal bill creates per-capita Medicaid caps that ends Medicaid as we know it, and will lead to the rationing of care for the disabled, children and seniors.
  6. Shifts costs to states leaving states in the lurch: The Republican plan would shift $370 billion in costs to states over the next decade, straining state budgets and forcing them to offset the reduction of federal funding by imposing deep cuts in services and care for seniors, children and people with disabilities.
  7. States would be on their own to handle the opioid - or other public health - crisis: States would also be on the hook for the full cost of meeting the needs of the opioid crisis and would be forced to cut back services and ration care exactly when people needed it most – the same could be true for other future public health crisis.
  8. Cuts to education: Medicaid funding cuts will require school districts to divert funds from other educational programs to provide needed school care services.
  9. Lose care to give tax cuts to wealthiest: Cuts to Medicaid aren’t about making sure people have better care, it’s about giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and rationing care for millions of children, people with disabilities or seniors in nursing homes or receiving long-term care.
  10. Those who know health care are against this bill: AARP, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Hospital Association, Consumers Union, National Association for Assisted Living and other health care leaders have come out against the GOP repeal bill and how it would change Medicaid.

For more information about how the House Republicans’ ACA repeal bill would affect Medicaid, visit the National Health Law Program.

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