Governors wary of Medicaid cost shift in Senate health bill

Posted June 25, 2017

Even Californians who are not now enrolled in Medi-Cal should be concerned about the Senate bill's cuts to Medicaid, not only because the vast majority of Californians recognize the importance of the program to the state, but also because many people who do not rely on the program today may rely on it tomorrow as their incomes or circumstances change.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was urging Democrats to post stories on social media on constituents whose health care coverage would be threatened.

"This bill may change, but Republicans will only be putting lipstick on a devastating blow to Americans' health care", said Sen.

At least a half-dozen GOP senators - conservatives as well as moderates - have complained about the proposal, the secrecy with which McConnell drafted it and the speed with which he'd like to whisk it to passage.

"We're anxious about the burden it creates for the states", Kristine Grow, spokeswoman at America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said on Friday.

He later tweeted: "I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill". Look forward to making it really special! Even if a trashing of Obamacare turns out as badly as liberals expect, Republican members of Congress in safe, gerrymandered districts could be insulated from the heat.

Former President Barack Obama was more than skeptical. "Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family - this bill will do you harm".

While Trump reportedly called the House bill "mean" and wants to see a bill with heart, Schumer said "the Senate bill may be meaner".

Flake is politically popular but faces a primary challenge from a conservative.

A Congressional Budget Office examination of the House bill estimated that it would cost as many as 23 million Americans their health insurance in the coming years. Yet it still would force those states to figure out what to do about the millions of lower-income Americans who used it to gain health coverage. If only three Republican senators refuse to sign on, the bill will have to be renegotiated.

— The Senate bill differs from the House health care measure, so the legislation would have to be reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee.

"The state will have very bad choices: They will either have to raise taxes, reduce benefits or enrollment in Medicaid or cut other areas of the state's budget like education", she said. Moran said he would take his time to examine the legislation.

In Oregon, lawmakers this week passed a health care tax meant to fix a $1.4 billion, two-year budget deficit attributed largely to Medicaid expansion costs. He said he would vote against it if it hurts Ohio. "It's frustrating that instead of actually reviewing the legislative text some have chose to immediately oppose the bill before it was even introduced".

Americans were able to a glimpse at the healthcare legislation Senate Republicans had been crafting.

"We're going to pay for it one way or another; there are no free lunches", she said in an interview with The Associated Press. Especially since, in what Smithers might term "the Republicans' ordinary villainy turning into cartoonish supervillainy", all these cuts are in service of mammoth tax breaks and windfalls for the wealthiest people in the country.

Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., must get yes votes from 50 of the 52 GOP senators to avoid a defeat that would be a major embarrassment to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

"It sounds like Obamacare to me", Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

Chantal Fields, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, said in a news release that the bill was a disaster waiting to happen for the Mountain State, saying the group's analysis showed the bill would cut more than $400 million from the state's Medicaid program. And at the end of the day, their plan would cover less while they pay more. The Trump administration had thus far balked at paying the money. "There are some promising changes to reduce premiums in the individual insurance market, but I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this bill, especially those that impact drug treatment at a time when OH is facing an opioid epidemic".

That's the basic equation in both the House and Senate bills: Medicaid for tax cuts. While the House bill based tax credits only on age, the Senate version bases the financial assistance on income level.

Senate GOP bill: Creates $2 billion fund to provide grants to states for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

After being briefed on the legislation Thursday morning, Cassidy said the bill "allows Medicaid to grow at the rate of inflation". "If the final legislation is good for OH, I will support it".