||April 10, 2012
Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Bob Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary
First State-by-State Analysis Shows House Republican Budget Would Decimate Health Care Funding in States across the Country
Funding Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Tax Credits for Middle-Class Families Exceed $2.75 Trillion over the Next Decade
Approximately 4 Million Seniors Currently in Medicare Would Be at Risk of Spending an Extra $6,000 Per Year in Additional Prescription Drug Costs
Washington, D.C. – The budget legislation passed last week in the U.S. House of Representatives along partisan lines would decimate health care funding in states across the country, according to a pair of reports released today. The cuts would exceed $2.75 trillion over the next decade and would range from $5.3 billion in Wyoming to $303.8 billion in California.
The reports, “Republicans Again Propose Slashing Funding for Medicaid, Medicare and Other Health Programs,” and “The Republic Budget Proposal: Ending Medicare As We Know It—Again,” are based on the budget’s cuts over the next 10 years in Medicaid, Medicare, and the tax credits that were designed to make health care premiums more affordable for middle-class families.
The $2.75 trillion, 10-year cuts do not include other major changes that would occur later on in Medicare. Specifically, the budget proposal would change eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 years of age and convert Medicare to a voucher program while requiring seniors and people with disabilities to pay thousands of dollars more each year for their coverage.
The cuts arise from four sets of changes included in the House-passed bill: (1) converting Medicaid to a block grant and cutting $810 billion in funding to the states; (2) eliminating the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act, a reduction in state funding of $932 billion; (3) eliminating the health care law's tax credits for middle-class families, a reduction in funding of $806 billion; and (4) a variety of Medicare cuts totaling $205 billion.
Additionally, almost 3.8 million seniors and people with disabilities with large prescription drug costs, who fall in the Medicare drug coverage gap euphemistically called the “doughnut hole,” would lose the relief they are now receiving that is designed to make drugs more affordable. This cut would place close to 4 million seniors and people with disabilities at risk of spending an additional $6,000 in drug costs per year by the end of the decade.
The size of the 10-year cuts differs substantially from state to state. The 10 states facing the biggest cuts are as follows:
- California: $303.8 billion
- Texas: $243.7 billion
- New York: $210.4 billion
- Florida: $189.2 billion
- Pennsylvania: $119.1 billion
- Ohio: $113.6 billion
- North Carolina: $107.0 billion
- Illinois: $94.8 billion
- Georgia: $85.9 billion
- Michigan: $83.2 billion
Nationally, repealing the Affordable Care Act, as the House budget would do, would increase the number of uninsured by 33 million in 2022. The report provides state-level estimates of these increases in the number of uninsured. The Medicaid cuts would increase this number even more, although this increase cannot currently be estimated.
The state-by-state cuts analyzed in the two reports are in addition to the controversial change in how Medicare is structured that would start to be implemented in the following decade. Those changes would increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 years of age and would convert Medicare to a voucher system, with the proportionate federal support of the voucher decreasing over time and the portion paid by seniors increasing.
By 2030, conversion of the Medicare program would result in an average Medicare cut of 23 percent for seniors entering Medicare, equivalent to a $2,800 cut for the average beneficiary today. Two decades later, the value of Medicare coverage would shrink by $5,000 a year in today’s dollars, forcing seniors to pay the difference out of their pockets or forgo care.
“The House Republican budget not only slashes funding to the states, it would decimate health coverage for seniors, people with disabilities, children, and middle-class families,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.
“It would force seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for Medicare coverage and would take away their ability to afford needed medicines. It would cause people with disabilities to lose needed home- and community-based care they now receive through Medicaid. It would eliminate the tax credits for middle-class families that make health care premiums affordable. And it would cause millions of children and other family members to lose health coverage.”
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
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