KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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School Districts Sound The Alarm Over Medicaid Cuts In GOP’s Health Plan

They say they won't be able to absorb any cuts to the estimated $4 billion schools receive in annual Medicaid reimbursements, and that something will have to give. Meanwhile, families who rely on other Medicaid programs and the Children's Health Insurance Program are also worried about their future under the Republican health care plan.

The Associated Press: Changes In Medicaid Distributions Worry School Districts
For school districts still getting their financial footing after the Great Recession, the Medicaid changes being advanced as part of the health care overhaul are sounding familiar alarms. Administrators say programming and services even beyond those that receive funding from the state-federal health care program could be at risk should Congress follow through with plans to change the way Medicaid is distributed. They say any reduction in the estimated $4 billion schools receive in annual Medicaid reimbursements would be hard to absorb after years of reduced state funding and a weakened tax base. (Ho and Thompson, 5/15)

USA Today: Obamacare Replacement Threatens Kids' Health Coverage
Samantha Bailey spends her days in a Phoenix hospital room with her 19-month-old son, Henry, waiting for a heart transplant and fretting about his health care once he gets it. Fears about health care for low income or special needs children in Arizona aren't theoretical or simply the product of an anxious mother's mind. Until last year, Arizona was the only state in the nation that wasn't enrolling children just above the poverty line into the free or low-cost Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  A recession-induced budget crunch there led to a health coverage wait list for families earning between $27,000 to $40,000 a year for a family of three. (O'Donnell and Alltucker, 5/13)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Trumpcare Could Lead To Cuts In Services For Elderly, People With Disabilities In Virginia 
Cuts to Medicaid prescribed by the American Health Care Act could lead to a drastic reduction in services for Virginians with disabilities, policy experts and lawmakers said last week. In Virginia, 1 in every 8 residents rely on the state’s Medicaid program. That includes one-third of Virginia’s children and two-thirds of its nursing facility residents. (O'Connor and Kleiner, 5/14)

Meanwhile, some lawmakers want even more aggressive Medicaid cuts —

The Wall Street Journal: Senate Conservatives Look To Cut Medicaid
Conservative Senate Republicans are weighing faster and steeper cuts to Medicaid that could drop millions of people from coverage and mark the biggest changes to the program in its 52-year history. The plan being pushed by lawmakers such as Mike Lee (R., Utah) is likely to face resistance from centrist GOP senators who are already concerned a health-overhaul bill passed by House Republicans would leave too many people uninsured. But the push for more aggressive Medicaid cutbacks indicates that if a bill ultimately passes both chambers, it could significantly scale back the federal-state insurance program that covers 73 million low-income or disabled Americans. (Armour and Peterson, 5/14)

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