KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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If GOP Plan Passes, Some States Will Likely End Medicaid Expansion Early

The program would likely become too costly for them to maintain. Meanwhile, a new report shows that the proposed legislation would cut Medicaid funding by as much as 39 percent. And media outlets report on other news on the program out of Pennsylvania, Montana, Michigan, California, Texas, Virginia and Ohio.

The Hill: New Medicaid Worry Emerges For Centrists
Some states would likely end their Medicaid expansions earlier than 2024 if the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill becomes law, according to several sources. That dynamic could deepen concerns among several senators who are undecided about the healthcare bill because of its changes to Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor and disabled. (Roubein, 7/16)

The Hill: States May See Up To 39 Percent Decline In Medicaid Funding Under Repeal 
Federal Medicaid funding could drop by as much as 39 percent over the next two decades under Senate Republicans' healthcare plan, according to a report presented at the National Governors Association meeting. The report, authored by the consulting firm Avalere Health and first reported by Politico, estimates that the GOP's plan to overhaul large parts of the country's healthcare system would offer deep cuts to Medicaid, ranging from 27 to 39 percent. (Greenwood, 7/15)

Modern Healthcare: Analysts Predict Drop In Provider Net Revenue Under BCRA 
Provider revenue would take a sizable hit under the latest version of the Senate's bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a new report found.​ The revised Better Care Reconciliation Act, released yesterday, retains the caps on Medicaid spending and rollback of the Medicaid expansion afforded to states' most vulnerable populations. A Congressional Budget Office review of the original bill estimated that 22 million people would lose coverage by 2026. (Kacik, 7/14)

Nashville Tennessean: With Medicaid Cuts Still In Trumpcare Bill, Many Veterans Remain Opposed
Though the revised American Health Care Act includes changes that could woo Republican moderates and opponents enough to support the legislation, many veterans and mental health advocates say it still would jeopardize benefits for millions of veterans. Specifically, they oppose the steep cuts to Medicaid, which they argue about 1.75 million veterans and some 600,000 family members depend on to supplement benefits not provided by the VA. The revised version, released Thursday, still aims to cut some $800 billion in Medicaid benefits and faces opposition from enough Senate Republicans to put the passage of the bill at risk. (Lowary, 7/16)

The Philadelphia Inquirer/ At Rural Pa. Hospitals, A Tense Wait As Congress Weighs Funding Changes
Bucktail Medical Center, a one-story building on the outskirts of town, doubles as the local nursing home. It has two emergency-room bays, 21 acute-care beds, one physician on hand at any given time, and an ever-precarious bottom line. At a larger hospital, the nursing director’s list of duties would employ five people. Officials here are still saving up to buy their first CT scanner. And as the GOP’s health-care bill winds its way through Congress, the staff is watching with bated breath. Like many other rural hospitals known as “critical-access hospitals,” it relies heavily on federal funding from Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements — for Bucktail, which has a $6 million operating budget, it’s nearly 80 percent of its revenue. (Whelan, 7/16)

Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Medicaid Expansion Helps Rural Counties, Men
The expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased Michigan's Medicaid rolls by 29% from 1.9 million residents in April 2014 to 2.5 million residents in May 2017.  Statewide, 1 out of 4 Michigan residents is enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid has expanded as part of the ACA in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The expansion simplified eligibility requirements and expanded income eligibility to 133% of the poverty level, $16,000 for a single person or about $33,000 for a family of four. (Tanner, 7/14)

Los Angeles Times: One Child, A $21-Million Medical Bill: How A Tiny Number Of Patients Poses A Huge Challenge For Medi-Cal
Somewhere in California, one child’s medical expenses in 2014 totaled $21 million — a bill covered entirely by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid. The child’s condition is not known. But the cost of care was mentioned in recent Twitter and Facebook posts by Jennifer Kent, head of the state Department of Health Care Services, which runs Medi-Cal. (Karlamangla, 7/16)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Nursing Homes Fear Losing $800 Million In Medicaid Funding In Healthcare Bill: A Critical Choice
On Thursday, Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a revised draft of a healthcare bill that, again, proposes deep reductions in Medicaid funding. As the plan stands, published reports show, the hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid in the revised plan are similar to those in an earlier draft of the plan GOP senators released in late June. (Caniglia and Corrigan, 7/17)

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