Earlier this week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its highly-anticipated report on the direct spending and revenues effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA). The CBO estimates that the repeal and replace measure passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month would increase the number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026. It would cut the federal deficit by $119 billion over 10 years, which falls short of the $150 billion in projected savings with an earlier version of the AHCA. The largest savings would come from a reduction of $834 billion in outlays for Medicaid. The CBO also says one-sixth of the US population lives in areas where insurance markets would be unstable by 2020 under AHCA.
The findings in the CBO Report coupled with priorities outlined in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget released by President Trump yesterday “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” that proposes a plan to cut over 1 trillion dollars from programs that support people with disabilities are being interpreted by many as a direct assault on the health and well-being of people with disabilities. There is also an additional cut of over $610 billion to the Medicaid program beyond the over $800 billion cut in the AHCA. This cut results from giving States new flexibility to manage their Medicaid programs under per capita caps or block grants beginning in FY 2020. The per capita cap option will result in cuts in eligibility, services, and/or provider rates while the block grant option would do even further harm by allowing states to eliminate basic standards and safeguards.
The Academy will continue to work with our members, committees, coalition partners, Congress and the house of medicine to push for health care reform solutions that do not harm the patients and families we treat every day.