44 Million Uninsured

by digby

The Kaiser Foundation has analyzed the new proposals to cut Medicaid and it's pretty grim:

Projected federal spending on Medicaid for the 10-year period 2012 to 2021 would fall by $1.4 trillion, a 34 percent decline. By 2021, states would receive $243 billion less annually in federal Medicaid money than they would under current law, a 44 percent reduction.

The effect on enrollment in state Medicaid programs could vary widely. By 2021, between 31 million and 44 million fewer people nationally would have Medicaid coverage under the House Budget Plan relative to expected enrollment under current law, the analysis finds, examining three possible scenarios using different assumptions about how states might respond to lower federal funding. Most of those people, given their low incomes and few options for other coverage, would end up uninsured.

The House Budget Plan also would affect health centers, hospitals and safety‚Äźnet facilities that serve low-income and uninsured people and rely heavily on Medicaid revenues. By 2021, hospitals could see reductions in Medicaid funding of between 31 percent and 38 percent annually, or as much as $84.3 billion, under the plan compared with projected funding under current law. The reductions would come at a time when millions more people would lack coverage, increasing the potential demand for uncompensated hospital care.

As I have written before, I have always assumed that the ACA is the one inviolate priority for President Obama. But Medicaid seems to be one area where there might be some play, whether the changes happen under the Act or prior to the Act taking effect (which amounts to the same thing.)I figured they'd start whittling away at that once he was out of office but it appears to be much too tempting a target for the government slashers in both parties and the White house hasn't taken it off the table so I'm not sure what's going to happen.

This is a horrifying development for anyone who cares about the poor (and I guess that's now just a few old hippies and a UCC pastor or two.) And in case anyone has failed to notice, there are a lot more of them being created every day by this moribund economy.