KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law’s Coverage Expansions Tally $118 Billion In State Costs, Republicans Say

House and Senate Republicans issued a report Tuesday in advance of a Capitol Hill hearing charging that the health law's expansion of Medicaid will come with a cost to states that is far more than congressional auditors estimated.

Reuters: Expanding Medicaid Will Cost U.S. States Billions
The costs to U.S. states of the Medicaid insurance program for the poor will grow by hundreds of billions of dollars under the health care law passed last year, according to a report released by Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday. "This law, because of Medicaid expansions, has put a strain on state budgets," Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the report's sponsors, told a meeting of hospital administrators on Tuesday. "Medicaid expansions threaten to bankrupt the states." The report tallied state governments' estimates and found expanding Medicaid will cost at least $118 billion nationally through 2023. States run the program with partial reimbursements from the federal government (Lambert and Smith, 3/1).

Bloomberg: Health Overhaul May Increase States' Costs $118 Billion, Republicans Say
The U.S. health care law will cost states almost double the amount that congressional auditors estimate, Republican lawmakers said. Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in prepared statements before a hearing today that states estimate the overhaul signed by President Barack Obama last year will increase health expenditures by about $118 billion through 2023. The Congressional Budget Office, the chamber's accounting arm, has estimated the law would cost states about $60 billion. The additional expense stems mainly from an expansion of Medicaid under the law. The chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which supervises the program, has said the expansion may add 20 million Americans to Medicaid rolls starting in 2014 (Wayne, 3/1).

National Journal: Health Care Law To Cost States $118 Billion, Republican Report Says
The expansion of Medicaid under President Obama's health care law will cost state taxpayers at least $118.04 billion through 2023, about twice the Congressional Budget Office estimate of $60 billion through 2021, Republican members of Congress said today. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a joint report ahead of a hearing where governors were lined up to testify. "Governors of both political parties were clear when Congress was debating the $2.6 trillion health law that they could not afford a massive expansion in Medicaid. Washington didn't listen and plowed forward instead by putting 16 million Americans onto the Medicaid rolls to keep the federal price tag down," said Hatch. "With this report, we see the true cost to states, who are already facing a collective $175 billion budget shortfall, of this unsustainable expansion" (Fox, 3/1).

The Hill: Dueling Reports On Health Law's Costs Issued As Governors Testify On Capitol Hill
Dueling reports on the health care reform law's impact on states surfaced Tuesday as governors testified on Capitol Hill. A new bicameral report from Republicans on the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce panels estimated that the law's Medicaid expansion would cost $118 billion over 10 years, almost twice the Congressional Budget Office's score. Simultaneously, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a report saying states would get $82.3 billion from the federal government in Medicaid and state exchange subsidies (Pecquet, 3/1).

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