* Press release…
Speaker Michael J. Madigan has directed state Rep. Greg Harris, chair of the House Appropriations-Human Services Committee, to hold a hearing Thursday to determine how Medicaid cuts being pushed by the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans will affect children, families and other vulnerable residents in Illinois.
“Medicaid is one of the most significant segments of our state budget, and plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of over 2 million children and families statewide,” Madigan said. “With so much at stake for our state and our families, it’s important for legislators and the governor to understand the real cost of the cuts being proposed by President Trump and congressional Republicans.”
Madigan and Harris have scheduled a hearing of the Appropriations-Human Services Committee on Thursday, March 16 at 8 a.m. in Room 114 of the Capitol. Representatives from the Illinois Hospital Association and Illinois’ safety net hospitals, as well as Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Felicia Norwood will brief members about the proposed changes and their impact.
Changes to federal Medicaid funding could have a dramatic effect on the state budget, and to Illinois families. An estimated 1 in 4 Illinois families would be impacted by the plan backed by Trump and congressional Republicans to alter the Medicaid system by providing states with a set lump sum payment. These proposed changes could cause significant reductions to federal funding, which would force Illinois to cut critical care for struggling families and persons with disabilities, or put taxpayers on the hook for significantly higher payments in order to continue services.
Committee members will consider not only the immediate impact, but how these cuts, coupled with rising health care costs, could force deeper cuts for many years.
“The Trump administration is moving quickly to make sweeping changes that will have a deep effect on our state, our communities and our families for years to come,” Harris said. “These proposals need to be thoroughly evaluated, so lawmakers can understand how they will affect Illinois, and determine the best course of action for Illinois families.”
Gov. Rauner hasn’t commented on the US House proposal since the CBO scoring came out yesterday. He has tweeted about his new Instagram account, however.
* Health Bill Would Add 24 Million Uninsured but Save $337 Billion, Report Says: The report foresees huge changes in Medicaid. By 2026, it said, federal Medicaid spending would be 25 percent lower under the House bill than is projected under current law, and the number of Medicaid beneficiaries would be 17 percent lower, with 14 million fewer people covered by Medicaid.
* Critics of GOP health bill get ammunition from budget score: The CBO report also undercuts a central argument that Trump and other Republicans have cited for swiftly rolling back Obama’s health care overhaul: that the health insurance markets created under the 2010 law are unstable and about to implode. The congressional experts said that largely would not be the case and the market for individual health insurance policies “would probably be stable in most areas either under current law or the (GOP) legislation.”
* No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Pushes Out Older People: But the change in tax credits matters more. The combined difference in how much extra the older customer would have to pay for health insurance is enormous. The C.B.O. estimates that the price an average 64-year-old earning $26,500 would need to pay after using a subsidy would increase from $1,700 under Obamacare to $14,600 under the Republican plan.
* The GOP’s Obamacare replacement is a disaster for some of its most loyal voters: Among the counties where Trump won his biggest victories, nearly all would face deep cuts in tax credits under the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. And, in the parts of the country that would lose the most in tax credits, a majority of voters were Trump supporters… Now, take a look at the places with the highest support for Hillary Clinton in the last election. In these liberal enclaves, where Clinton won over 80 percent of the vote, many people would actually benefit from the new GOP plan. That’s because health care tends to be less expensive in urban areas, and the GOP’s tax credit would give residents in these low-cost areas more money.
* Shimkus: Men paying for prenatal care coverage like buying a cabin ‘you’re never going to use’: He compared forcing men to have a policy that includes female contraceptive and prenatal coverage to paying for a prime piece of real estate that one could never actually visit. “Why would you buy a cabin in Montana that you’re never going to use?” said Shimkus, whose expansive district covers much of Southern Illinois.
* Roskam backed Ryan health bill in committee, but now open to changes: “I want to learn more about the Medicaid piece, particularly in Illinois,” Roskam said. Asked twice later if that means he’s open to changes in the Medicaid provisions, Roskam replied “yes”… Roskam appeared less willing to make changes in response to another damaging finding in the CBO report: older Americans, particularly those over age 50 with relatively modest incomes, would be big losers under the Ryan plan.
* The GOP’s Obamacare replacement includes many Republican governors’ biggest fear — and it could doom the bill: Kasich’s main gripe with the AHCA: a radical rollback of Medicaid, the government-run health program that provides insurance primarily to pregnant women, single mothers, people with disabilities, and seniors with low incomes.