House Republicans on June 22 released their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a key legislative priority for the GOP that passed Congress last year before succumbing to a presidential veto.
The plan would convert Medicaid from a federal-state partnership to a program managed entirely by states through block grants or per-capita allotments from the federal government. The GOP proposal also would provide tax credits to individuals who buy health care coverage from private insurers, reform medical liability laws, and promote wider use of health savings accounts. The plan would direct $25 billion toward high-risk pools to provide coverage options for people with pre-existing conditions and other challenges.
The Partnership for Medicaid — a coalition of hospitals, clinics, health care professionals, health plans, and other Medicaid stakeholders chaired by America’s Essential Hospitals — issued a strong statement opposing the GOP plan’s Medicaid per-capita allotments proposal.
“[W]e are concerned that a shift to per-capita allotments could exacerbate the existing strain on Medicaid,” the group said. “This plan could limit the federal role in Medicaid; shift more of the program’s costs onto state and local governments, providers, plans, patients, and local taxpayers; and ultimately lead to the loss of thousands of jobs as health care employers account for increased responsibility for health care costs. Cuts to provider and plan payments, elimination of benefits, and reduced access to care are virtually unavoidable under this type of proposal.”