How Graham-Cassidy Hurts Ohio

The Graham-Cassidy healthcare repeal bill is nearly identical to the House GOP bill, voted on in May. This bill is in fact worse for Ohio than the so-called “skinny bill” the Senate voted down in July, because Graham-Cassidy cuts Ohio Medicaid dollars much more drastically and it gives those dollars to other states.

Graham-Cassidy specifically targets and punishes states like Ohio that expanded Medicaid by taking money Ohio currently gets and giving it to states that did not expand their Medicaid program. This is on top of overall dramatic cuts to all states.

There is no additional money in this bill to fight opioids after cutting Medicaid.

Here’s more on what Graham-Cassidy does to Ohio:

CUTS NET $20 BILLION FROM OHIO

  • According to this study from Avalere, Graham Cassidy would cut federal funding to Ohio by $9 billion from 2020-2026, $19 billion by 2027 and $161 billion by 2036 – a 31% cut that the state’s budget simply can’t afford.
  • For every $1 Ohio spends on Medicaid, on average, 63 cents comes from federal dollars that Graham-Cassidy would cut.

Who Gets Hurt By These Medicaid Cuts?

  • 973,000 children in Ohio who rely on Medicaid for their health insurance, making up more than half of all patients on Medicaid.
  • 71,000 veterans in Ohio who get their coverage through Medicaid.
  • 3 in 5 nursing home residents in Ohio who rely on Medicaid to cover the cost of their care.
  • 150,000 Ohioans getting opioid treatment.

Don’t be Fooled by Block Grants

The cuts above account for the money Ohio would get in the form of block grants – which is still $9 billion less from now to 2026. And the block grant ends entirely in 2027, at which point Ohio will have lost $19 billion.

KICKS UP TO 900,000 OHIOANS OFF THEIR INSURANCE

  • 200,000 Ohioans currently have insurance through the healthcare exchanges. Graham-Cassidy eliminates the exchanges and does not replace them.
  • 700,000 Ohioans currently have insurance through the Medicaid expansion. Graham-Cassidy eliminates the Medicaid expansion with no replacement.

KICKS UP TO 200,000 OHIOANS OFF OPIOID TREATMENT

  • According to a Harvard study, more than 220,000 Ohioans with addiction or mental health disorders now have coverage under the Affordable Care Act – 151,257 through the Medicaid expansion and 69,225 under private insurance purchased through the marketplace. Graham-Cassidy ends the Medicaid expansion and the exchanges, kicking those people off of their insurance, potentially disrupting treatment services for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans as they are fighting for their lives.
  • Graham-Cassidy does NOT include any additional money to combat the opioid crisis.

RAISES COSTS FOR OHIOANS

  • According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the House GOP plan -  which is nearly identical to Graham-Cassidy - would cause premiums to go up an average of about 20 percent next year. Some analyses have shown that this bill could drive up premiums and drive out insurers even more.
  • Graham-Cassidy allows insurance companies to charge Ohioans age 50 and older more for their insurance.
    • According to data compiled by the Senate Committee on Aging, the House GOP plan - which is nearly identical to Graham-Cassidy - would raise the insurance premiums of an average 60-year-old in Ohio by $1,609 annually.

THREATENS HEALTHCARE FOR 71,000 OHIO VETERANS

Despite common misconceptions, many veterans and their family members do not qualify for health insurance coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and many of them rely on Medicaid as their only alternative.

  • report released by FamiliesUSA finds that Medicaid covers 1.75 million veterans nationally and 71,000 veterans in Ohio.
  • According to the Kasich Administration, 25,000 of those Ohio veterans are covered through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, along with 12,000 family members of veterans.
  • Graham-Cassidy would eliminate the Medicaid expansion, kicking those 25,000 Ohio veterans and 12,000 family members off of their health insurance. Then the bill would cut billions from traditional Medicaid, threatening coverage for the other 46,000 Ohio veterans covered by the program.  

CUTS OHIO SCHOOLS

  • The House GOP bill – which is nearly identical to Graham-Cassidy – cut Ohio schools by as much as $12 million each year. Graham-Cassidy cuts the Ohio Medicaid in Schools Program, and potentially by an even greater amount. The program uses federal Medicaid dollars to help schools cover the costs of physical and speech therapy, wheelchairs, other important services for students with disabilities. By law, schools are required to continue those services even without these dollars, which could mean schools will be left to make up the cost in other ways like cutting classes. (Learn More)

CUTS OHIO HOSPITALS AND JOBS

  • A report from the American Hospital Association projected Ohio’s hospitals would lose $15 billion between 2018 and 2026 under that House GOP bill, which is nearly identical to Graham-Cassidy. 
  • Hospitals are the largest employer in many Ohio counties, putting jobs at risk if hospitals are forced to make drastic costs.

HURTS RURAL COMMUNITIES

  • In July, Brown released county-by-county data on how repeal would hit Ohio’s 50 rural communities particularly hard. Graham-Cassidy is just as bad, if not worse for these Ohio communities than earlier efforts.  Access the county-by-county data here.

WHAT EXPERTS ARE SAYING:

  • The American Medical Association said, “We believe the Graham-Cassidy Amendment would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care.”
  • AARP said the bill, “would result in an age tax for older Americans who would see their health care costs increase under this bill.”
  • The Children’s Hospital Association said, “This bill would have devastating consequences for children and families.”

 

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