Friday Five - July 28, 2017
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is following the dramatic outcome of the Senate vote-a-rama; and the impact of the proposed Medicaid cuts on state budgets, the economy and people of color.
After a long and arduous process, the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a new “skinny bill” has been hit with a devastating setback. CNN reports in a surprise decision, Republicans John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins joined with Democrats to oppose the measure – dealing the fatal blow to the repeal efforts.
This opinion piece in The Hill reiterates, in the face of potential cuts, that Medicaid provides health coverage for more than 75 million people across a broad spectrum of racial, generational and economic differences. This coverage not only improves health security, but also the economy. Cuts to Medicare would damage both.
While members of all racial groups are eligible for and use Medicaid, people of color may be more heavily affected due to health disparities and higher uninsured rates. A new analysis from the Center for American Progress estimates that 8.7 million people of color would lose coverage by 2026 under proposed Medicaid cuts, and breaks that loss down state-by-state.
The Affordable Care Act gave states the option to expand their Medicaid eligibility. States that took advantage of this have since shown a larger decline in unpaid medical bills (from 43% to 30%) and an increase in reported financial security for low-income residents. While this Star Tribune article points out that Medicaid cannot be determined as the sole cause of this positive move, it’s important to consider against the current backdrop of proposed Medicaid cuts.
This blog post from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reviews studies that find states would see a major economic impact from proposed Medicaid cuts at the federal level. In order to adjust, states would need to raise taxes and cut other budget items or limit Medicaid eligibility (which also causes economic impacts; as pointed out in the second article in today’s Friday Five).