The Republican plan for the Medicaid program could force 44 million poor and disabled Americans out of the program over the next decade. This is the finding of a new analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
The plan changes the program into a block grant to states. The states would decide what services go to which people. The federal government would set the rules governing the program.
The proposed Medicaid plan reduces federal spending by $750 billion over the next ten years. This amounts to a drop of 34% in payment. Many states now find it difficult to pay for the millions of people who enrolled in the past three years.
Seniors and the disabled are about 25% of the people enrolled in the program. They account for about two-thirds of the spending. Many seniors pay for nursing home care with their own money. In time, they run out of money and go on Medicaid.
Republicans say the program will give the states the authority to make the changes needed to save money. This will enable them to absorb the loss of federal funding. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the proposal will result in major cutbacks in enrollment and services.
Other experts say millions would become uninsured. They say Medicaid would no longer be the health safety net.