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Analysis of Senate Health Bill BCRA Press Release

Analysis of Senate Health Bill BCRA Press Release

Updated Analysis: Montana to Lose $5.3 Billion in Federal Funding for Medicaid Under the Proposed Senate Health Bill

More than 75,000 Montanans are to lose health coverage.

Bozeman, Mont. (June 27, 2017)  – An independent analysis commissioned by the Montana Healthcare Foundation projects that if the U.S. Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is enacted, Montana’s Medicaid program could lose $5.3 billion in federal funding. More than 75,000 adults enrolled through the recent Medicaid expansion could lose coverage as early as 2021. The report is an update of the in-depth analysis released by the Montana Healthcare Foundation on June 14, which looked at the U.S. House’s version of the bill. Like the House-passed version of the bill, the Senate’s version includes core features of the AHCA, including capped funding for children, disabled, and adult members of Medicaid, and the elimination of Medicaid expansion funding.

The House and Senate bills contain similar changes to the Medicaid program – changes that would hurt Montana’s most vulnerable residents, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities. We find no health benefits of these proposed changes. Indeed, like the House bill, it appears that the Senate’s bill would weaken the state’s health care system and threaten our ability to care for our communities.

Dr. Aaron Wernham,
Montana Healthcare Foundation CEO 

Key findings of the report include:

  • A loss of the recent Medicaid expansion, which currently covers over 75,000 Montanans and provides over $500 million per year in federal funding.
  • A major impact on the state budget includes:
    • Loss of $5.3 billion in federal Medicaid funds from 2020 through 2026, which is more than a third of Montana’s federal Medicaid funding.
    • Ripple effects would potentially affect other state priorities, such as education and infrastructure.
    • Marked year-to-year volatility in health care funding, creating uncertainty in state and private-sector budget decisions.
  • A cap on federal financial support for the Montana Medicaid program makes it harder to respond to crises such as an epidemic or recession. It leaves the state with no federal partnership in the case of an emergency.
  • Montana would need to respond to the federal cuts by curtailing spending through cutting eligibility, reducing reimbursement rates, eliminating benefits, or otherwise reducing spending for the children, seniors, people with disabilities, and adults who remain in coverage.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation contracted with nationally recognized experts from Manatt Health to analyze the impact of the AHCA on Montana.

Under the Senate bill, Montana would lose even more federal Medicaid funding than under the House bill. This would have devastating implications for children, low-income families, elderly and disabled individuals, and the providers who serve them.

Deborah Bachrach,
Mantt Health Partner and Report Co-Author

Read the full report, “Impact on Montana of Medicaid Provisions in the BCRA.” This report is an update to a previously released report, “Impact on Montana of the AHCA’s Medicaid Provisions.”