June 13, Wisconsin Health News
As a consequence of opting out of the federal health reform law's Medicaid expansion, Wisconsin could receive an estimated $37 billion less by 2025 under the Republican healthcare proposal that passed the House earlier this year, according to a new analysis.
The American Health Care Act has "assurances" that aim to "restore equity in Medicaid spending" for the 19 states that chose not to accept federal funds to expand the program, according to a policy brief by the Missouri Hospital Association.
But the association's analysis finds that by 2025, those states would get $683.9 billion less in federal Medicaid funding than they would if they expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act.
That amounts to $36.9 billion less during that period for Wisconsin, according to data used in the report provided by the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
"The report is eye-opening and should be of concern to anyone in a non-expansion state," Eric Borgerding, WHA CEO, said in a statement. "While the AHCA did attempt to provide a measure of relief to non-expansion states like ours, clearly it is insufficient and must be addressed by the U.S. Senate during their deliberations."
Rather than taking federal funding to expand the program, Wisconsin made eligibility changes to Medicaid to cover childless adults up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level and cut eligibility for parents and caretakers.
Arkansas, which previously expanded Medicaid under the ACA, is asking CMS for permission to cap eligibility at 100 percent.
At a Wisconsin Health News event last week, Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said "if a state is going to be rewarded for something that Wisconsin has already done, Wisconsin should be awarded for what Wisconsin has done."
"One of my frustrations with the proposal coming out of Washington was that it basically didn't reward states like Wisconsin that did it the right way and basically continued to reward states that went a different course," he said.