Colorado would get $9B less in Med­i­caid fund­ing

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John In­gold

A new re­port finds that Colorado could lose out on more than $9 bil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing for Med­i­caid over the first decade of a pro­posal the U.S. Se­nate is ex­pected to bring up for a key vote Tues­day.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell has vowed to hold a vote Tues­day on whether to be­gin de­bat­ing a re­peal of the Af­ford­able Care Act — the health care mea­sure that ex­panded Med­i­caid ac­cess to peo­ple slightly above the poverty line and that is also known as Oba­macare. If that passes, the Se­nate would launch into de­bates on a va­ri­ety of pro­pos­als for how to re­peal the ACA, though it re­mains un­clear ex­actly what they will be vot­ing on.

Among the pos­si­bil­i­ties up for con­sid­er­a­tion is a McCon­nell-backed plan called the Bet­ter Care Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Act, which would, among other things, re­strict the fed­eral govern­ment’s con­tri­bu­tion to state Med­i­caid pro­grams in the com­ing years. A new re­port from the non­par­ti­san Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion found that Colorado would re­ceive about $9.2 bil­lion less in fed­eral Med­i­caid fund­ing be­tween 2020 and 2029 than it would re­ceive if the ACA re­mained law.

That short­fall is less than what the Colorado Health In­sti­tute came up with when it an­a­lyzed the pro­posal. The in­sti­tute, which is also non­par­ti­san, es­ti­mated that Colorado would see $15 bil­lion less in fed­eral fund­ing over the mea­sure’s first decade.

Colorado’s sen­a­tors are split on the mea­sure. Sen. Cory Gard­ner, a Repub­li­can, told a crowd Fri­day at the West­ern Con­ser­va­tive Sum­mit that cuts to Med­i­caid may be ne­c­es­sary, “to make sure that we fo­cus our health care ef­forts on those who need it the most.”

Mean­while, Sen. Michael Ben­net, a Demo­crat, wrote on Twit­ter on Satur­day that, “The GOP plan would desta­bi­lize in­sur­ance mar­kets and dev­as­tate Colorado fam­i­lies.”

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