Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Robert Reich on 'Sleeper issue of Medicaid's future could prove health-care plans' stumbling block'

"House Republican rewrite of ACA would alter half-century Medicaid compact between the government and states."

Paul Ryan has been trying for years to kill Medicaid – the federal government’s health insurance program for the poor, which started in 1965, along with Medicare.

He’s planted a bomb inside the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act – Trumpcare -- which would do just that.

The House GOP’s legislation would end the system in which the government pays each state a specific share of all its Medicaid costs. Instead, it would provide a fixed sum for each beneficiary — no matter how much or little of the costs that funding covered. This would cause Medicaid coverage to erode or disappear.

As a result, 57 million poor people could lose the health insurance they had even before the Affordable Care Act.

In other words, Ryan and Trump aren’t just coming up with a lousy replacement for the Affordable Care Act. They’re also coming up with a way to wreck the government’s half-century compact to provide health insurance to tens of millions of low-income people, including children, pregnant women and those who are elderly or disabled.

Please sound the alarm.