The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, a last-ditch effort to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare under Senate rules that would allow it to happen with a simple majority of 50 votes, would cut federal funding to New York State by $52 billion according to a new report.
The bill, which has turned Jimmy Kimmel into an avenging center-left angel, would replace federal money for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and subsidies for individual health care purchase with block grants starting in 2020, among other massive changes from the current health care law. Republican advocates of the bill have claimed that it would give more power to the states to control their own health insurance markets, but part of "returning power to the states" would be a massive slash in funding for states that have embraced the ACA's Medicaid expansion, like New York.
A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation that tried to predict what the move to block grants would mean for each individual state found that New York could expect $52 billion less than the state receives from the federal government right now.
Kaiser estimated that total funding for all 50 states under the block grants would start at $136 billion in 2020 and eventually rise to $190 billion by 2026 (the Graham-Cassidy bill has no funding provisions after 2026). With those numbers, Kaiser predicted that over the seven years where the block grants are actually funded, New York would see a 35 percent drop in federal spending on health care in the state, from $148 billion under the current law to $96 billion under the proposed law.
In addition to New York, California would lose over $50 billion in health care spending ($56 billion to be exact), while Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont and Minnesota would also see federal spending drops of at least 30 percent. At least one Republican Senator, Alabama's Richard Shelby, is on the record admitting he is not exactly concerned by that:
The bill would cut federal funding to states by 34 percent over the next —
But it wouldn’t cut Alabama, though.
Well, do you think the other states should deal with —
Well, you see some of our states, four of our states, are getting a disproportionate amount of money from health care now. You know which ones.
Asked about the argument that states would be more flexible and could provide better coverage with block grants, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that he's opposed to the potential switch.
"I would not trade $19 billion for the flexibility. Because if they cut $19 billion, if I was as flexible as a Gumby doll, we could not fund our health care system," Cuomo said earlier this week.
In addition to Cuomo, Representative Peter King, a Long Island Republican who voted in favor of the AHCA, has come out against the Graham-Cassidy bill because of the cut in Medicaid funding. King's fellow New York Republican House member John Faso, potentially a target for Democrats looking to flip some House seats in 2018, told reporters that he has "serious questions" about how the Medicaid cuts would affect New York.
In order to make sure that the most in-depth televised coverage of the Graham-Cassidy bill isn't confined to late-night network talk shows, CNN will air a town hall debate pitting the bill's two sponsors against Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar on Monday, September 25th. Lindsey Graham has tried to win people over to his bill by vowing that it's either Graham-Cassidy or socialism, so tune in on Monday to see whether our future belongs to socialism or barbarism!