Column: AHCA could ravage funding for Medicaid in Texas

On Thursday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that would repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the AHCA would end the enhanced Medicaid federal funding for future expansion populations, beginning in 2020, and transition the Medicaid program to a per capita cap funding model (still a work in progress, but this is what has been proposed and scored by the Congressional Budget Office).

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on March 13 estimated that, under the March 9 bill, 14 million people would lose coverage in 2018, 5 million of whom would be Medicaid recipients. Over 10 years, CBO estimated that nearly 24 million people would lose coverage, 14 million of whom would be Medicaid recipients. The bill also would reduce Medicaid program funding by $880 billion over 10 years – a 25 percent reduction from the current law.

Working with the American Hospital Association, here is a sample of the startling impact on some Texas congressional districts. It gives you a sense of the magnitude of the impact on Medicaid in Texas based on the current CBO score.

  • Texas 32 (Pete Sessions), reduction of 33,500, reduction of $1.7 billion;
  • Texas 24 (Kenny Marchant), reduction of 28,300, reduction of $1.3 billion;
  • Texas 3 (Sam Johnson), reduction of 22,900, reduction of $1.0 billion;
  • Texas 5 (Jeb Hensarling), reduction of 41,300, reduction of $2.2 billion;
  • Texas 33 (Marc Veasey), reduction of 60,400, reduction of $2.7 billion;
  • Texas 12 (Kay Granger), reduction of 33,900, reduction of $1.8 billion;
  • Texas 6 (Joe Barton), reduction of 29,300, reduction of $1.6 billion;
  • Texas 30 (Eddie Bernice Johnson), reduction of 70,200, reduction of $3.4 billion.

As you can see, this will negatively impact some of the most vulnerable residents in our society.

 

W. Stephen Love is President & CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and a member of the Convening Panel for the State of Reform Health Policy Conference. This column was originally published at his organization’s website and is re-printed with Mr. Love’s permission.