California would lose $24.3 billion in federal funding by 2027 for low-income health coverage under the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new state analysis released Wednesday.
The bill, up for a vote in the House on Thursday, represents a “massive and significant fiscal shift” from the federal to state governments by setting caps on spending, reducing the amount of money available for new enrollees and eliminating other funding for hospitals and Planned Parenthood, the analysis said. The analysis, based on internal cost, utilization and enrollment data, was sent Tuesday to the state’s secretary of Health and Human Services.
“It’s really devastating,” said Mari Cantwell, state Medicaid director with the California Department of Health Care Services, who co-wrote the analysis. “It raises some serious questions about whether we can continue to operate the program the way we do today.”
Although the analysis didn’t explain how the state would deal with the federal cuts, Cantwell said it would have to look at changes to eligibility, benefits or provider rates — or all three.
The Republican bill, called the American Health Care Act, would dramatically change funding for the Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal in California. Since its inception, Medicaid funding has been open-ended, based on need. Under the new bill, federal money would be capped either through block grants or fixed per-capita amounts.