August 24, 2017

Florida Would Lose Nearly $9.7 Billion in Federal Funding under Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill

Proposed legislation would cap and cut Medicaid funding and eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits and subsidies

Lake Mary, FL – The Florida Policy Institute (FPI) today called on Florida’s U.S Senate delegation to reject the Cassidy-Graham legislation, a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A new report from the Washington D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that Florida would lose nearly $9.7 billion in federal funding by 2026 under the bill. The legislation is authored by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, who have reportedly been in talks with the Administration to push their proposal.

“It’s hard to believe that after such widespread public rejection of previous harmful federal health care bills, the Administration and Senate may try again to push through legislation that guts federal health care funding,” said Joseph F. Pennisi, executive director of FPI. “Constituents have made it clear that they do not want to see their friends, families and neighbors lose health care coverage. The focus instead needs to be on a bipartisan effort to improve on the Affordable Care Act.”

The legislation would eliminate both tax credits that help 1.2 million moderate-income Floridians, the most of any state, afford monthly insurance premiums and subsidies that help low-income residents with out-of-pocket health costs, like deductibles and copays. The plan would also end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, precluding the state’s ability to extend affordable coverage to more than 500,000 Floridians.

Under the Cassidy-Graham proposal, a far smaller block grant would replace Medicaid expansion funding and marketplace subsidies. The plan would also cap and deeply cut the rest of the Medicaid program. After 2026, the block grant would disappear entirely. This would particularly devastate the health and economic well-being of children, seniors and people with disabilities, while crippling the fiscal health of the state.

A recent report and series of fact sheets published by FPI focus on risks to Medicaid beneficiary groups and services under capped federal funding, namely women, children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Another FPI report examines the dangers of block granting programs designed to reduce poverty.

“We strongly urge Florida’s Senate delegation to reject this bill, along with any legislation that results in loss of coverage, increases out-of-pocket costs for consumers or limits Medicaid,” added Pennisi.

The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting widespread prosperity through timely, thoughtful and objective analysis of state policy issues affecting economic opportunity.

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