Senators are expected to vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) tomorrow, and states stand to lose significant Medicaid funding if it passes.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA, commonly referred to as Trumpcare) would end Obamacare as we know it, particularly the provision expanding Medicaid health coverage to more middle-class households. While Medicaid is usually only available for children and low-income Americans, Obamacare allowed an additional 14.4 million Americans to obtain health insurance through Medicaid expansion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
However, should Trumpcare become law and if Medicaid expansion is indeed pared back, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) and the Urban Institute found that 14 states stand to lose 40 percent of federal Medicaid funds, throwing millions of children and families off of their current health insurance plans. Another 10 states would lose 30 to 40 percent of Medicaid funds. And in some of the hardest-hit states, health insurance would be entirely unaffordable for vast swaths of the population.
As the TPC reported earlier this month, Trumpcare would residually affect the cost of healthcare following the repeal of Medicaid expansion, as millions of newly uninsured households would then burden state budgets with more emergency room visits and other forms of uncompensated care:
Florida and Maine would see their uninsured populations increase 60 percent and 80 percent under the Senate plan, according to the Urban Institute study. Expansions[sic] states like Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia would see their uninsured populations increase more than 200 percent.
The Urban Institute found that by 2022, the number of non-elderly uninsured Americans would increase by an astonishing 24.7 million people in comparison to current law as a result of rolling back Medicaid expansion, bringing the total number of uninsured Americans to more than 55 million — more than 20 percent of the population. Even for Americans not on state-run health insurance programs, there would still be 7.9 million fewer Americans on private, non-group health insurance if Trumpcare was signed into law.
On average, states would lose almost 33 percent of the federal funding they currently count on to fund Medicaid, amounting to more than $140 billion lost each year for all 50 states. The below chart from the Urban Institute shows how much each individual state would add to their uninsured rolls under Trumpcare in comparison to current law, as well as how much funding each state would lose under Trumpcare. How would your state fare under the current healthcare overhaul proposal?
Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based writer and commentator specializing in national and state government issues for Grit Post. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.