Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate released the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” as part of the ongoing congressional effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and reform Medicaid more broadly. Children’s hospitals are unified in calling on the Senate to reject the bill.
At its core, the bill is a major step backward for children and their health. If enacted, the bill would end Medicaid as an entitlement to coverage and treatment for over 30 million children who would be subject to per capita caps and potential limits on their health care. While the bill does attempt to mitigate some of the cuts included in the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) by exempting children in Medicaid from a potential block grant — along with exempting elderly and disabled populations — and excluding disabled children from the per capita cap restrictions, the vast majority of children remain at risk.
Compared to the AHCA, the new Senate bill calls for even steeper cuts to the Medicaid program by restricting Medicaid’s funding to a slower growth rate. An Avalere Health analysis
of the AHCA concluded that cuts to Medicaid funding for children would be at least $43 billion over 10 years. Ultimately, Medicaid coverage and benefits for the over 30 million children who rely on Medicaid would be threatened in both the House and Senate bills. Congress should not consider any legislation undermining health care for tens of millions of children.
Children’s hospitals across the country call on senators to reject this bill, a bad bill for kids.