New research demonstrates magnitude of threat to children’s health
Washington, D.C. — Our nation is at an important crossroads, with today’s decisions impacting our economy and workforce far into the future. As the Senate deliberates the U.S. House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), research released today by Avalere adds to mounting evidence that child health would be threatened should Medicaid be changed as proposed in the current legislation. Nationally, children’s Medicaid would suffer a funding cut of $43 billion over 10 years under a per capita cap model, and as much as $78 billion over 10 years under a block grant.
Avalere’s analysis looks specifically at funding for non-disabled children and further details how the AHCA funding cut to Medicaid would be divided among the states. Under per capita caps, Texas, California, New York and Florida would absorb nearly 30 percent of the estimated $43 billion of funding reductions. States would be forced to make difficult decisions affecting the care children need to stay healthy and ready to learn.
If all states were to opt for a Medicaid block grant under the House-passed AHCA, Avalere finds the potential impact to children would be even more severe, swelling to $78 billion over 10 years. Under this scenario, states may opt to cut critical benefits for kids to reduce costs and/or impose cost-sharing that could impede children’s access to care.
Avalere’s findings are similar to those released recently by the American Action Fund in Impact of the AHCA’s Medicaid Reforms Varies by Category of Eligibility. The report notes under the AHCA, per beneficiary spending for children in 2025 will result in an 8.5 percent reduction under a per capita cap model.
Children represent the future of our country, and the risk of collateral damage to them through budget cuts is high. Children’s hospitals want to work with the Senate to maintain Medicaid funding, coverage and benefits for kids, and advance new innovations to reduce spending such as the bipartisan ACE Kids Act (S. 428). Decisions made now will affect the lifetime health, well-being and contributions of millions of children far into their adult lives.
Yes. Alarming. It’s always those that are weakest that will suffer most: the very old, the very young, and the very sick. The true character of a society is measured by how they take care of their weakest members.