KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Outcry From Moderates, Governors, Deep Medicaid Cuts Left Mostly Untouched

The reduction of more than $750 billion to the program over a decade is one of the sticking points for many Republicans opposed to the legislation.

The Hill: Five Takeaways From The GOP's Healthcare Reboot 
The updated legislation left the deep Medicaid cuts from the first version of the bill essentially unchanged, which could be a big problem for moderate GOP senators like Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). The legislation would put a cap on federal Medicaid reimbursement for states, dramatically changing the program from an open-ended entitlement. It would end ObamaCare’s increased funding for states to expand Medicaid by 2024, and cut the rate of inflation. Taken together, the bill would cut $772 billion from Medicaid funding over a decade and result in 15 million fewer people enrolled, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Roubein, Hellmann and Weixel, 7/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Could Gain Under New GOP Health Bill
Among the provisions in the revised version of the Senate Republicans’ health bill is a provision that would restore certain federal funding to some hospitals—but with a catch. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals were set to lose out on extra funding known as Medicaid “disproportionate share” payments meant to help cover uninsured patients. The Senate GOP’s early health bill restored the funds, but exclusively to hospitals in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. (Evans, 7/13)

Modern Healthcare: New Senate Bill Retains Medicaid Cuts, Provides More Money To Stabilize Individual Market
The per-capita cap system is designed to reduce the federal budget for Medicaid. The law would set different caps for different populations through 2024, with some federal spending matching the rate of medical inflation, and some pegged at medical inflation plus one percentage point. Those 20 and younger with chronic medical conditions "that either requires intensive healthcare interventions or meets the criteria for medical complexity" are excluded from the per capita cap. The bill says that in 2020, states must identify all these different categories of people covered on Medicaid or CHIP. (Lee, 7/13)

Kaiser Health News: Transgender Health Care Targeted In Crusade To Undo ACA
Solorah Singleton has been waiting years for breast augmentation. She doesn’t want to jinx it now, but the Philadelphia resident thinks it’s finally within reach. Singleton, 36, was born male but identifies as female. For seven years, she has had regular hormone therapy, never seeing surgery as an option. She previously didn’t have health insurance and didn’t think she could cover the cost of the procedure out-of-pocket. (Luthra, 7/13)

Arizona Republic: Advocates Warn Of Harm To Ariz. Medicaid Recipients Under Senate Bill
Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Thursday released an updated version of their health-care legislation, which includes a proposal to cut Medicaid funding and roll back Medicaid coverage expansion under "Obamacare." State Reps. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, and Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, members of the House Health Committee, spoke out against the measure at a news conference at Phoenix Children's Hospital on Thursday. (Stanford, 7/13)

In other Medicaid news from Colorado —

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