Wyden Asks for Analysis of Long-Term Impact of Republican Medicaid Cuts

In Letter to CBO, Ranking Finance Democrat Asks for Analysis of Medicaid Cuts Beyond 10-Year Budget Window in Senate Republican Health Care Bill

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced a letter to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Keith Hall, asking the agency to examine and make public an analysis of the Senate Republican health bill’s Medicaid cuts beyond the 10 year budget window. This analysis is needed because the legislation’s most draconian cuts set in starting in 2025, the last two years of the ten year CBO budget window.

“The American public deserves to see the full extent of pain this bill will bring to people across the country who count on Medicaid as a lifeline.”Wyden said. “I’m hopeful that once my Republican colleagues understand the true implications of this dangerous legislation, they will reject it and work with Democrats to improve America’s health care system.” 

In the letter, Wyden asked the non-partisan agency to release further analysis of the Senate Republican health care bill’s impact on Medicaid spending in the decade following the current ten-year budget window, which runs from 2017 to 2026.

In the bill, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” Medicaid becomes subject to a cap in spending beginning in 2020 that would not keep up with medical costs, pushing states to raise taxes or cut care from vulnerable populations including children, Americans with disabilities, and seniors who rely on Medicaid for long-term care. The growth rate of the cap becomes even more restrictive after 2024, two years before the end of the traditional scoring window. An analysis of the longer-term impacts will give a more complete and accurate view of the consequences of these caps on Americans’ lives.

CBO has conducted similar analyses of major health care legislation. In 2009, the agency included a long-term analysis of the Affordable Care Act in a letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (see pages 15-19).

The full letter can be found here.

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