BREAKING: Updated Senate Health Care Bill ReleasedStill Devastates Medicaid with Harmful Cuts and Per Capita Caps
Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the most recent version of the Senate health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) – read a quick summary here/section 132 most relevant to disability service providers. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release an updated cost analysis next week, and the Senate is planning to move to a vote as early as next Thursday.The bill is still devastating to people with disabilities, as it contains deep cuts to Medicaid, shifts costs to states and individuals, and does not protect funding allocated for disability services.Correction: The bill includes per capita caps that would continue to grow at THE LOWEST rate of all versions of the health care bill (CPI-M +1% until 2025 and then CPI-U thereafter), creating devastating shortfalls in Medicaid funding for people with disabilities. It would also substantially seek to end Medicaid expansion funding, cut down on provider taxes, end cost-sharing subsidies, and reduce plans with essential health benefits.The new BCRA will cut Medicaid funding by converting the program's structure to a per capita cap program, locking states into an unsustainable level of funding that will not keep up with costs. The inflation rate would be the consumer price index for medical components (CPI-M) plus 1 percent until 2025, at which point it would drop to CPI-U. Disability programs are predicted to outgrow this rate by 2023!The new BCRA will eliminate the Community First Choice Option funding and create new demonstration projects for HCBS. The 1915(k) enhanced funding for the Community First Choice option will be eliminated, cutting approximately $19 billion from Medicaid. In turn, states may compete for a total of $8 billion in funding for four-year demonstration projects for HCBS (from January 2020 to December 2023), with priority for funding for only 15 applicant states with the lowest population density.It is imperative that keep up advocacy around this bill for the coming weeks! Lawmakers need to hear from you how harmful Medicaid cuts will be for people with disabilities. Use our call tool to connect with your Senators using our simple script. You cannot call too often!Your advocacy is making a huge impact – now is the time to keep going strong!