New health care repeal plan much like the old
Posted July 16, 2018 in Press Releases
Axes protection for pre-existing conditions, turns Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies into block grant
A new Policy Matters Ohio policy brief finds more than 830,000 Ohioans are at risk of losing health coverage under a new plan for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that a group of conservative think tanks are floating again to Congress. The proposed plan:
- Eliminates the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid to low-income, working-age adults;
- Eliminates tax credits and subsidies that help people buy insurance if they don’t get it through their jobs;
- Ends key ACA protections for people with pre-existing conditions;
- Ends requirement that all insurance plans cover essential health benefits;
- Requires states to privatize Medicaid (including Children’s Health Insurance Program) with subsidies for enrollees to buy private plans;
- Diverts federal health care funds to subsidize health savings accounts (HSAs).
The plan would change the eligibility-based financing system for people in the Medicaid expansion to a “block grant”—an annual, fixed sum that does not respond to changes in need or epidemics, as the current Medicaid program does. Other federal human service programs changed into a block grant have been cut outright or eroded by inflation. Block grants allow the federal government to reduce support for essential programs over time.
The new plan, supported by the Trump Administration, looks like one of last year’s, the one named after the Republican sponsors, Senators Cassidy and Graham, which would have reduced the number of people with insurance coverage by millions, almost doubling the share of working age adults without insurance.
Amid a growing drug epidemic, loss of health insurance is the last thing Ohio needs. The public will need to raise voices again to protect health care in Ohio and in America.