Medicaid has been around since 1965 and insures 20 percent of Americans.
It’s the second-biggest source of health coverage for Americans, after employer insurance.
The American Health Care Act that has passed the House of Representatives (but not the Senate) would for the first time ever cap spending on this program.
At the other end of people’s lifespan Medicaid pays 53 percent of the total national bill for long-term care, including community services that help frail elderly Americans stay in their homes.
Another 3 million people were eligible all along but didn’t realize it until they applied for coverage under the ACA.
First, it would drastically cut funds available for Medicaid expansion, starting in 2020.
States that have expanded Medicaid could continue to cover this “expansion population,” but would only be reimbursed an average of about 40 cents on the dollar instead of 90 cents.
“It’s a devastating hit on the program.” The likely result is cuts to benefits, eligibility, or both.
Also at risk are those formerly covered by Medicaid expansion.
“If people don’t have a significant disability and aren’t taking care of a child, they’re not going to have a pathway to coverage,” Solomon says.