Overhaul of Medicaid expansion could cost states $32 billion: report | Reuters

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK Proposals in Congress that would effectively end Medicaid expansion in 31 U.S. states would cost those states at least $32 billion altogether in 2019, according to a report released on Friday.

“Few, if any, states could absorb such new costs,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based, left-leaning think tank, said in its report.

Republican President Donald Trump has pushed to fulfill a campaign promise to replace Obamacare, his Democratic predecessor’s signature healthcare plan, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress.

More details of potential replacements by U.S. House Republicans for former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act emerged on Friday, though they have yet to agree on a single detailed policy proposal to repeal and replace the healthcare law.

One scenario to phase out enhanced federal funding would convert the current system, in which states share the cost of Medicaid enrollees with the federal government, into fixed payments, or block grants, sent to the states.

But that would dramatically affect the 31 states and the District of Columbia that chose to expand Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income Americans, and collect extra dollars that came with expansion.

Those states would have to find the extra $32 billion themselves to maintain their expansions, the center said in its report.


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