U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, other liberal Democrats and the media are misrepresenting the impact on Medicaid of the proposed Republican Senate healthcare bill (SHC) to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
According to ABC News Fact Check, for fiscal year 2018, the SHC would reduce Medicaid spending a paltry 2.9 percent, and spending would increase 20 percent by 2026.
The ”reductions” in Medicaid spending being trumpeted by Tester are based solely on the whopping 50 percent, $209 billion, estimated increase in spending under the current ACA (Obamacare) law, due primarily to expanded eligibility for Medicaid. This would be paid by increased tax penalties paid by those who can’t afford ACA premiums, even greater premium increases to the insured and continuation of the 30 additional taxes imposed by the ACA.
Medicaid payments to the states, already scheduled under the ACA to decrease to 90 percent, would decrease to 85 percent under the proposed SHC, only a 5 percent reduction. Those currently on Medicaid would not lose coverage.
Tester needs to offer constructive amendments to the SHC bill rather than negative rhetoric. We deserve bipartisan support of sensible legislation that will reduce insurance premiums and tax penalties while continuing to provide care for those on Medicaid.
Philip L. Barney,