The Repeal and Replacement of “Obamacare” with “GOPCare” will Hurt Public Schools
The Congressional Budget Office has analyzed what I call “GOPCare”, the GOP’s plan to replace “Obamacare”, and the results are devastating or those who live in poverty. Right off the bat 14,000,000 will lose their health insurance, and if past data are any indication, many of those thrown off the roles will be children. According to Wikipedia, while the percentage of uninsured children was lower than ever in 2011, there were still millions of children not covered at that time.
One-third of children and over half (59%) of low-income children are insured through Medicaid or SCHIP. The insurance provides them with access to preventive and primary services which are used at a much higher rate than for the uninsured, but still below the utilization of privately insured patients. As of February 2011, a record 90% of children have coverage. However, 8 million children remain uninsured, including 5 million who are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP but not enrolled.
Those numbers likely diminished since 2011 since many states who initially refused the expansion of Medicaid funding that was part of “Obamacare” eventually signed on. But under the GOP health insurance plan all of that is out the window… and in all probability even more may be at stake. One element of Medicaid that was on the chopping block for years was the supplementary funds school districts receive for special needs children. Virtually every district in the country receives funding through this source which some GOP legislators see as superfluous. While I have not examined the verbiage of the GOPCare language in detail, I am confident that there are “small adjustments” to Medicaid and various funding streams that will have a devastating impact on the parents of children raised in poverty, schools serving those children, and– possibly– on disabled children.
One thing is clear: the GOP knows that this is the case and is decidedly indifferent to it. They are most interested in making certain the taxes charged to the most affluent Americans to help underwrite Obamacare are eliminated and that insurance companies are free to rake in more profits as a result of the new rules for the “competitive” marketplace. Children raised in poverty are collateral damage.