What’s Next For Medicaid?
Over the last several months news reports have been filled with coverage of the federal legislative actions aimed at repealing and/or replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While currently unsuccessful, efforts to repeal and/or replace e the ACA have included provisions to drastically cut funding for our country’s Medicaid system.
While we might agree that Medicaid reform is necessary for long-term sustainability, the effect of proposed federal legislation estimates a cut of almost ½ of current spending Nationally Medicaid provides insurance coverage to more than 70 million people, including coverage of mental health and substance abuse services. This not only includes services to approx. 10 million people with disabilities but also provide health and long-term supports to 2/3 of seniors in nursing homes, and 39% of our children. In Ohio alone, Medicaid would be cut by 13.1 billion dollars in less than 10 years, leaving these vulnerable populations at risk.
Proposed legislation also converts Medicaid-a guaranteed benefit-meaning you receive benefits if you qualify-to a per capita or block grant-meaning states receive a fixed pot on money regardless of need. Simply being eligible for benefits would not guarantee that you would receive them. Faith-based organizations like ours are called to care for those in need. And we do. For over a century LSS has been caring for neighbors, sons, daughters and loved ones. Currently, we rely on Medicaid funding for approx. 74% of our billable revenue. If Medicaid is drastically cut-or capped-our ability to serve will be severely limited.
Even with legislative defeats recently behind us, the coming months are sure to bring more news on the changing topic of Medicaid. We urge you to lend your voice in helping to make positive change to this system. Please be in touch with your legislators-oppose Medicaid cuts and caps- and let them know that our most vulnerable citizens need their support. In Ohio please visit usa.gov/elected-officials for a listing of legislative e-mails and phone numbers.
Terri Rodriguez - LMM President and C.E.O.