Cassidy-Graham Bill Would Deeply Cut Health Coverage Funding for Ohio

August 25, 2017

A new ACA repeal bill would cut Ohio’s federal funding for health coverage by over $2.6 billion by 2026, according to a report released this week by the Washington D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

The full CBPP report can be found here.

Congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have failed in recent months in large part because a large majority of Americans oppose taking coverage from millions of people, raising costs for millions more, gutting Medicaid and undermining consumer protections.

This has opened the door to another path: a transparent, bipartisan effort to strengthen our health care system without taking people’s coverage away or gutting Medicaid. The public supports this approach and bipartisan Senate hearings slated for September offer a first step forward.

Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham are reportedly working with the White House to block this emerging, bipartisan path and instead revive the ACA repeal effort by pushing their own version of a repeal bill, the Cassidy-Graham proposal.

“Despite claims to the contrary, the Cassidy-Graham plan is just another ACA repeal bill and would have the same devastating effects on Ohio as the previous, failed GOP repeal bills,” said For Ohio’s Future Action Fund spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten. “Like every other ACA repeal bill, it would take coverage from hundreds of thousands of Ohioans and tens of millions nationwide.”

The plan would eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion, which covers 630,100 Ohioans. It would also eliminate tax credits that help over 207,000 moderate-income Ohioans afford marketplace coverage and subsidies that help low-income Ohioans with out-of-pocket health costs like copays.

A far smaller block grant would replace both Medicaid expansion funding and marketplace subsidies, and the plan would also cap and deeply cut the rest of the Medicaid program just like previous Senate and House repeal bills. And, after 2026, the block grant would disappear entirely, leaving Ohioans high and dry.

“The public, experts across the political spectrum, and groups representing patients, hospitals, physicians, seniors, people with disabilities and others have forcefully and repeatedly rejected this misguided approach, said van Hoogstraten. “It’s time to focus on bipartisan solutions that strengthen – rather than weaken — our health care system.”

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