Billions Could Be At Stake

If the proposed Graham-Cassidy health plan becomes law, Arizona will lose billions in federal funding. That, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health, a Washington-based health policy consulting firm.

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From the Washington Post:

The analysis….forecasts that federal money devoted to Medicaid and private insurance subsidies would shrink by $215 billion between 2020, when the plan would begin, and 2026, the last year money is provided in the Cassidy-Graham bill. Among states, the analysis shows, the greatest erosion of aid would occur in those that have had the greatest insurance gains under the ACA by expanding their Medicaid programs.

Our state is one of those that expanded its Medicaid program, so Arizona could be in for a pretty big hit. According to an infographic in the new report (which is below), we would see an $11 billion dollar loss in federal funding between 2020 and 2026 as compared to the current law. The loss could be as high as $19 billion is 2027 and $133 billion by 2036.

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According to CNBC.com:

Graham-Cassidy would, among other things, eliminate the expansion of Medicaid benefits to poor people under Obamacare, and also would eliminate the federal subsidization of health insurance purchases in the individual plan market.

While the bill would award federal block grant funds to individual states to craft their own health insurance programs, there would be a net reduction in how much money the government would allocate compared with what it currently does under the Affordable Care Act.

Fox News pointed out the bill’s future may rest in the hands of the same three senators who voted against the so-called “skinny-repeal” back in July…..Susan Collins, R-Maine; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Arizona Senator John McCain.

Asked Tuesday if supporters could court her vote, Collins said “it all depends now.”

She said she’s asked for additional information, but “what I’ve gotten so far gives me great concern.”

Right now, the only Republican absolutely opposed to the bill is Sen. Paul. If Collins were to join him in opposition, it would take just one more “nay” to kill the bill in the Senate.

That puts the focus on McCain and Murkowski – and especially the latter.  

“All roads lead to Murkowski,” a senior congressional GOP source told Fox News.

Graham, speaking Wednesday with “Fox & Friends,” voiced hope that his friend McCain would come around.

Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor will be meeting with the organization’s executive leadership team later today to craft AzHHA’s position on the new bill. If you would like to let them know your thoughts as they head into that discussion….please send them along. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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