As the newly revamped AHCA has been given House approval and moves onto the Senate floor, a new study shows how the revamped bill’s effect on Medicaid Expansion could prove dangerous. Per a study conducted by the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, there is much more at stake than may have been assumed.
The new bill aims to “fix” Medicaid Expansion through means such as cutting healthcare funding to those already receiving substantial government subsidies. It also aims to limit the scope of coverage for those individuals who previously relied on the benefits under ACA’s Medicaid Expansion. The effect of the bill could be dangerous, where 14 million people could lose their coverage by the 2024 fiscal year. Those “grandfathered” into coverage, and thus not cut from coverage under the bill, would only account for less than 5% of the recipients by that year. The 14 million who stand to lose coverage under the amended AHCA guts the gains in coverage over the last few years through the ACA.
Further, the study finds that by the 2026 fiscal year, Medicaid funding will be cut by over 30% for the 32 states that have participated in the Medicaid Expansion. Just by 2020, that cut could already reach an 11% loss. States like Washington, Kentucky, Oregon and Montana will likely feel it the most, with 40% cuts divided among them.
It may be a great cause for concern with aftershocks that most won’t realize until after the fact. If Medicaid recipients lose their coverage and their states lose funding, where will they go when they get sick? As had often been the case in the pre-ACA era, hospitals absorbed the costs, which caused their own set of negative ramifications.
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