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Medicaid Awareness Month: The Cost Of Sabotaging Medicaid

By April 22, 2019April 25th, 2019No Comments

As part of Medicaid Awareness Month, Protect Our Care is detailing how President Trump and Republicans nationwide have waged a relentless war on Medicaid — with no signs of stopping. From seeking to end Medicaid expansion and aiming to force caps on the program’s funding to encouraging states to impose burdensome Medicaid work requirements, Republicans are hellbent on making it as hard as possible for millions of Americans to access Medicaid.


12.7 Million Americans Who Will Lose Coverage If The Trump Administration Successfully Ends Medicaid Expansion. The Trump administration is arguing in court that the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion should be overturned. If the administration ends Medicaid expansion, 12.7 million people will lose their health care.

Up To 4 Million Americans Who Could Lose Coverage If The Trump Administration Imposes A Nationwide Medicaid Work Requirement. The Trump administration is working to change the fundamental structure of Medicaid by preventing people from accessing coverage through Medicaid if they fail to document working a certain number of hours each month. Though experts warn that imposing such requirements could significantly reduce Medicaid enrollment by adding administrative hurdles that make it harder for people to access care, the administration has called for a nationwide Medicaid work requirement in its 2020 budget that is estimated will cause up to 4 millionpeople to lose coverage.

More Than 18,000 Arkansans Who Have Already Lost Coverage Under A Work Requirement In Arkansas. In Arkansas, more than 18,000 people lost coverage in 2018 due to the state’s onerous reporting requirements. Of those required to report their work activities, only 12 percent reported enough hours of qualifying activities. One difficulty in reporting? Though 20 percent of Arkansans with Medicaid do not have home internet access, the state is using an online portal as the primary way for people with Medicaid to report their work activities.

1.4 Million Adults With Disabilities Who Would Lose Medicaid Under Trump’s Plan For Medicaid. The Trump FY20 budget once again revived the call to pass Graham-Cassidy, a bill that would impose funding caps on Medicaid by block-granting the program. The Center for American Progress estimates that between 1.4 million and 1.8 million nonelderly adults with disabilities would lose coverage under the bill’s proposed cuts.

Children, Including 600,000 Who Disenrolled From Medicaid And CHIP Last Year. As the children lost access to Medicaid and CHIP, the children’s uninsured rate increased for the first time since the ACA was implemented. As Georgetown’s Center On Children and Families notes, the uninsured rate for children went up from 4.7 to 5 percent between 2016 and 2017. Three quarters of children who lost coverage lived in states that refused to expand Medicaid.

Four In Ten Americans With An Opioid Use Disorder Who Rely On Medicaid For Access To Treatment. Recent research finds that Medicaid expansion reduced the unmet need for substance use treatment by 18.3 percent. Should Republicans successfully overturn or restrict Medicaid expansion, these gains will be jeopardized.

430 Rural Hospitals That Are At A High Financial Risk Of Closing. Roughly 21 percent of the country’s rural hospitals are at a high financial risk of closing. Medicaid is a crucial support to rural hospitals, and cuts to the program threaten the stability of already struggling rural hospitals.


President Trump And His Republican Allies In Congress Have Repeatedly Tried To Slash Funding For Medicaid And Impose Per-capita Caps On Coverage. In 2017, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) repeal bill, which included a per capita limit on federal Medicaid spending that would have resulted in huge cuts to Medicaid across states. After failing to pass the AHCA in the Senate, Republicans have continued to launch relentless attacks on Medicaid. The Trump administration’s budget for 2020 calls for  $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and would impose a nationwide Medicaid work requirement. 

The Trump Administration Is Encouraging States To Impose Work Requirements And Other Bureaucratic Restrictions On Medicaid Enrollment In Order To Deny Coverage. Experts warn that work requirements are fundamentally bureaucratic hurdles designed to restrict access to health care rather than increase employment. Already, more than 18,000 have lost their Medicaid in Arkansas because of the work requirement the state imposed last year. Now, the Trump administration is proposing a nationwide work requirement for those with insurance through Medicaid.

Trump States Are Hurting Their Own Residents By Pushing Forward on Work Requirements. Despite a federal judge ruling that work requirements were unconstitutional in Arkansas and Kentucky, other states that President Trump won — Ohio, Utah, Idaho, Alabma, Oklahoma — have either rejected the will of voters by placing work requirements on Medicaid expansion, or have applied for waivers through Trump’s CMS.

President Trump And Congressional Republicans Are Targeting Medicaid To Pay For Tax Cuts For The Wealthiest. In 2017, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Former Speaker Ryan’s answer was clear: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In an attempt to pay for these tax cuts, last April, House Republicans passed a balanced budget amendment that would slash Medicaid funding by $114 billionin a single year alone. Just a few weeks ago, President Trump announced his FY20 budget which would block grant Medicaid, cutting the program by $1.5 billion over ten years.

President Trump Fully Backs A Lawsuit That Would End Medicaid Expansion. By expanding access to Medicaid for parents, children were more likely to gain coverage. One study estimated that between 2013 and 2015, 710,000 low income children gained coverage because of Medicaid expansion.