Latest GOP Health Care Bill Would Bring Idaho Increase In Federal Funds

Sep 22, 2017

The latest attempt by Republican senators to repeal the Affordable Care Act is still looking for the 51 votes necessary to pass it this month. Known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, the policy would repeal Medicaid expansion for low-income folks and revoke the premium tax credits that are mainstays of Obamacare.

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the bill proposes giving block grants to states, arguing that this would give them more flexibility on how the money is spent. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, states that didn’t expand Medicaid under Obamacare would benefit financially under this system, at least initially. The study found that federal funding would go up by 27 percent in Idaho by 2026, whereas states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA stand to lose money. Neighboring Oregon would lose 32 percent of their funding over seven years if the plan goes through.

But so far, Governor Butch Otter has not endorsed the bill. According to the Associated Press Otter is unsure about how states could use the block grants. He did not join 15 other Republican governors who signed a letter backing the bill earlier this week.     

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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