City

Report: Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill Would Cost Pa. $11 Billion

That's a 20 percent decrease in federal health care funding between 2020-2026, per the Kaiser Family Foundation.
health care

Pixabay.com

Republicans are trying yet again to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Their latest measure comes in the form of a bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (of South Carolina) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (of Louisiana), who are seeking to cap Medicaid and replace ACA funding with a new block grant program.

The bill would deal a blow to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the 29 other states that chose to expand Medicaid under the ACA, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A report released Thursday by the organization estimates that the Graham-Cassidy bill would decrease federal funding for states by $160 billion from 2020-2026 – and by $240 billion in 2027.

According to census data, 10 percent of Pennsylvanians under the age of 65 (nearly 1.1 million in total) are insured through the ACA, and more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians receive coverage through the Medicaid expansion implemented by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015.

Per the KFF, Pennsylvania would lose more than $11 billion in funding by 2026 under the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, which, at a roughly 20 percent decrease, would land Pennsylvania among the top three states with the largest potential loss of federal funds. (California and New York are the other two.)

New Jersey, which opted in to the ACA in 2014, would see a more than $5 billion decrease in federal funding under the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, according the KFF.

The bill is Republicans’ sixth attempt this year to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Proponents of the legislation frame it as an attempt to distribute federal health care funding more evenly across the states; opponents, like the KFF, say it would largely shift funding from Democratic states that expanded Medicaid funding under the ACA to Republican states that chose not to do so.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey, both Democrats, have denounced the bill. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said he is undecided.

Republican senators have until the end of the month to pass the bill with a simple majority of 51 votes.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.