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Nonpartisan CBO Confirms that Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Pennsylvanians who Need Health Coverage Most

Nonpartisan CBO Confirms that Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Pennsylvanians who Need Health Coverage Most

Date Posted: 
05/25/2017

Philadelphia – Yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the U.S. House of Representatives’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The CBO confirms that the Medicaid cuts in the AHCA would be particularly devastating for Pennsylvania families who rely on Medicaid to get and stay healthy.

The CBO projects that the bill would cut $834 billion in federal Medicaid spending (at p. 13), and result in 14 million fewer Medicaid enrollees (at p. 20), by 2026.

The CBO notes that the Medicaid cuts in the bill that passed the House were identical to cuts in a version of the bill that was considered and scored by the CBO in March 2017 (at p. 10).  When the CBO scored the earlier version of the bill, it found that the bill would force states to spend more state funds on Medicaid, while cutting payments to health care providers and health plans, eliminating covered services, and restricting eligibility and enrollment (at p. 11 of the Mar. 13, 2017 score).

The devastating cuts being considered by Congress would roll back Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, which covers more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians.  The cuts passed by the House, and now under consideration by the U.S. Senate, would cap Medicaid payments to states, limiting federal funding for children, older adults, individuals with disabilities, and pregnant women.  And they would create new red tape to make it harder for Pennsylvania families to get and keep the coverage they need.

Kristen Dama, a Supervising Attorney at Community Legal Services, said, “The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the Medicaid cuts passed by the House earlier this month, would have devastating consequences for Pennsylvania.  The bill would force Pennsylvania to cut health care for families, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.”

The AHCA, with these Medicaid cuts, passed the House on May 4, 2017, by a vote of 217 to 213.  The U.S. Senate is now weighing revisions to the bill.

In light of the CBO’s analysis, Community Legal Services urges Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, Jr. to protect Pennsylvania Medicaid by opposing Medicaid payment caps and elimination of Medicaid expansion.