President Obama’s Budget Promotes Relatively Small Cuts to Medicaid
April 16, 2013 08:30 AM
President Obama’s budget, released last Wednesday, proposes a $19.6 billion reduction over 10 years to Medicaid spending. Of this number, the President’s budget would cut $4.5 billion by limiting Medicaid reimbursement of durable medical equipment (DME) to Medicare rates.
When viewed in comparison to Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray’s (D-WA) budget proposal of a $10 billion cut to Medicaid, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal of Medicaid cuts estimated anywhere from $757 billion to $810 billion, President Obama’s budget approaches closer to Murray’s position and cuts Medicaid by a relatively small amount.
The competing congressional budgets offer different views on the future of Medicaid. The budget proposal of Rep. Ryan, released on March 12, turns Medicaid “from an open-ended entitlement program into a block-granted program,” and would allow states to contribute less money into Medicaid through use of Medicaid waivers. Ryan also advocates repealing the Medicaid expansion that is currently taking place nationwide under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Huffington Post estimated total cuts to Medicaid under Ryan’s plan at $757 billion, while the Center for American Progress estimated that Medicaid funds to states will be cut by $810 billion over ten years under the Ryan plan.
Sen. Murray released a separate budget proposal on March 13 that would cut Medicaid by $10 billion. Murray’s budget preserves Medicaid expansion, rejects block grants, and “does not shift any costs to states.” There are no specified cuts to home care.
Medicaid is the largest payer for home care services for all ages across the country. Cuts to Medicaid will be felt sharply by seniors and those in long-term care. At present, according to the Center for American Progress, around 4.6 million seniors are enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid also currently pays for over 40% of the nation’s long-term care costs. While 9 million seniors are now receiving long-term care, this number is expected to rise to 12 million by 2020.
NAHC urges home care and hospice advocates to ask their Members of Congress to protect access to home care and hospice for low income Medicaid beneficiaries by opposing proposals that would reduce federal Medicaid funding.
For a link to NAHC’s Legislative Action Network (LAN), as well as a link to NAHC’s Medicaid issue brief and talking points on NAHC’s LAN page, click here.
For a link to the President’s budget, click here.
For Health and Human Services’ Budget in Brief, click here.
For a link to Ryan’s budget, click here.
For a link to Murray’s budget, click here.