The most recent attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system would fundamentally alter Medicaid and jeopardize home and community-based services, according to www.DisabilityScoop.com. A chart outlining the proposed bill is available here.
After a prior Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed, this new effort in the U.S. Senate again seeks to upend the Obama-era law.
The proposal introduced last week by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. runs into a deadline of September 30. After that date, a simple majority will not suffice to pass the measure – rather, 60 votes would be needed to do so.
Thus, Republicans have until Sept. 30 to repeal Obamacare with only 51 votes in the Senate under the current budget resolution.
Concerns are rising that the healthcare proposal could impact Medicaid and the people who rely on it. The proposal would impose first-ever caps on federal funding for Medicaid. Currently, states receive matching grants from the federal government to cover the cost of anyone who’s eligible. Under the Republican proposal, states would instead receive a fixed amount of money for each beneficiary regardless of the true cost of their care.
The proposal would also eliminate Obamacare subsidies that lower premiums, deductibles, and co-pays in 2020. The bill would eliminate Obamacare protections for those with pre-existing conditions, allowing carriers to charge more based on the insured’s medical history.
In addition, the proposed legislation would eliminate Obamacare’s essential health benefits provision, which covers hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse services, and other benefits.
Disability advocates, including The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, The Arc and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network are protesting the health care proposal. These groups are concerned that Medicaid caps would lead states to cut services for people with disabilities.