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Medicaid Cuts Will Hurt Children in Poverty Across the Board

June 5, 2017

Last Friday’s Axios post by Drew Altman noted that IF the GOP’s replacement to Obamacare passes and States are expected to absorb he costs for Medicaid, budget battles will ensue at the State level that will inevitably force increases in taxes or reductions to a host of programs— most of which will impact children raised in poverty. As Altman reports:

…long time state Medicaid expert Vern Smith at HMA suggests why. To offset the $834 billion in reductions in federal Medicaid spending in the AHCA, states would need to increase their own general fund spending by an average of one third beginning in 2022, and 37% in 2026. States will have to decide whether to eat the reductions and cut their Medicaid programs, raise taxes, or cut spending for other state priorities, or to do some combination of these things.

31 States and the District of Columbia will all be on the hook for higher taxes or reduced medical or other “priorities”… Altman concludes his post with this:

It does not seem to have dawned on folks with an interest in state funding for higher education, or corrections, or schools, or environmental protection that the debate about Medicaid could soon become a debate about their issues. But Medicaid is the largest source of federal revenues states receive, and once the proposed reductions trickle down to state budgets, it won’t only be a Medicaid debate any longer.

My hunch is that many states will use this as a further excuse to deny funds for families in need… either by drastically increasing heir costs for medical care or starving their schools even more.

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