Monday, April 4, 2011

Serious Money

Jonathan Cohn reports that the Republicans are putting together a plan to cut $1 trillion dollars out of Medicaid. Yes, that’s not a typo: $1 trillion.

Exactly what form those cuts would take is not entirely clear. But a trillion dollars over ten years is serious money and Capitol Hill sources are saying such a large cut would likely take the form of two dramatic changes: Eliminating the Medicaid expansion that takes place under the Affordable Care Act and then converting the entire program into a system of block grants.

This could be a trial balloon, but if it’s not, the net result could be that rolling back the Medicaid expansion that was included in the healthcare law would mean that 15 million people could lose their health insurance. At least that’s the CBO’s estimate.

Obviously the Democrats will have something to say about this, at least as far as the Senate is concerned, and even if they somehow go along with this brutal idea, President Obama will never let it happen. After all, the healthcare law is his legacy and he’s not about to let that get taken away… not to mention the fact that it would probably destroy Medicaid in the process. That’s been the GOP goal all along; after all, Medicaid helps the poor and the disabled, and who cares about them, anyway? They don’t vote for Republicans, do they?