Kill Medicaid Cuts

Submitted by ub on Sat, 05/27/2017 - 11:26

Cutting Medicaid will harm children, local communities, as well as state budgets

In 2015, Medicaid paid for nearly $4 billion in school-based health care services, including both special education and EPSDT services provided outside of special education. (See Below) By comparison, schools received about $12 billion in federal IDEA funding in 2015.

While Medicaid spending on school-based health services represents about 1 percent of total Medicaid spending, it is serious for schools. Cutting federal Medicaid funding would reduce the access and quality of care provided to students while also hurting public school budgets.

The House Republicans’ bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would cut federal Medicaid spending by $839 billion over ten years. The AHCA would not only effectively end the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion but also radically change Medicaid’s financing structure by capping and cutting federal funding by requiring states to choose between a per capita cap or a block grant. That would shift significant costs and risks to states, with the cuts growing larger over time. To compensate, states would have to increasingly cut Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and provider payments. Given the magnitude of the federal cuts, states would likely have to cut funding for Medicaid services provided in schools, which means schools would find it difficult to maintain their current level of special education and health care spending.

State education budgets also benefit from Medicaid. By leveraging Medicaid and federal IDEA funding, states are less likely to have to use general education dollars to pay special education costs. Because IDEA requires school districts to prioritize funding special education, schools would have to shift resources, such as diverting funds from general education or other important areas of the state budget, to absorb a Medicaid funding cut under a per capita cap or block grant. A resulting cut in general education funding could impede states’ ability to help schools implement proven reforms such as hiring and retaining excellent teachers, reducing class sizes, and expanding the availability of high-quality early education keys to helping children thrive in school.


KAISER Health Insurance Coverage of Children 0-18…