The federal-state program, which covers 70 million low-income Americans, has long been stigmatized as substandard. But it also has grown into a powerhouse program that now provides funding for hospitals, nursing homes and drug treatment, and cutting that back has many people nervous.

Medicaid’s Starring Role In U.S. Health-Care Flap: QuickTake Q&A 

The biggest single change called for by the Republican health-care bill that may be voted on by the U.S. Senate this week is its reduction in federal spending on Medicaid, the program for poor and disabled Americans. The bill is being championed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and backed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a way to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Senate bill, like one passed in May by the House of Representatives, would roll back Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid and make other far-reaching changes to the program as well. (Greifeld and Tracer, 6/27)

Why Medicaid Takes Up One-Tenth Of The Federal Budget

Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor. That’s the shorthand explanation. But Medicaid is so much more than that — which is why it’s become the focal point of the battle in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. President Obama expanded Medicaid under his signature health care law to cover 11 million more people, bringing the total number of people covered up to 69 million. (Kodjak, 6/27)

CQ Roll Call:
Medicaid Directors Object To Growth Rates In Senate Health Bill

The National Association of Medicaid Directors on Monday objected to Senate Republicans’ health bill, arguing it would provide too little funding for the giant federal program. The bipartisan protest added to the swelling chorus of opposition to the bill, which Senate GOP leaders intend to pass as early as this week. … The Medicaid directors’ group left open the question of whether it potentially could support a switch to capped funding if the amount of money were increased. “While NAMD does not have consensus on the mandatory conversion of Medicaid financing to a per capita cap or block grant, the per capita cap growth rates for Medicaid in the Senate bill are insufficient and unworkable,” the group of state officials said. (Young, 6/26)

Kellyanne Conway’s Mostly False Claim That GOP Bill Doesn’t Cut Medicaid

In an interview Sunday, ABC news host George Stephanopoulos brought up the bill’s projected $800 billion in Medicaid savings and asked Conway if that undermined the president’s campaign promise to spare Medicaid from cuts. “These are not cuts to Medicaid, George,” Conway said on This Week on June 25. “This slows the rate for the future.” … on one level, she has a point, we at PolitiFact found. Future savings are not always “cuts.” But in the case of the GOP health care bill, there are indeed cuts that go beyond dollars spent. (Greenberg, 6/26)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.