“What can I do to get you to support this healthcare bill today?” – Paul Ryan
Both the Trump administration and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have been giving the hard sell to Congressional GOP over their healthcare replacement plan the American Health Care Act (AHCA). To make matters worse, it doesn’t look like the usual outside groups – like the Koch Brothers – are willing to help out in any way.
INBOX: Freedom Partners Opposes AHCA in its Current Form
— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) March 21, 2017
So you know what that means, SWEETHEART DEALS!
Supporters of the AHCA have now started to promise amendments to the original bill in hopes to get enough Congressional Republicans to buy into the plan. So what are these sweetheart deals exactly? Let’s take a look!
State Block Grants for Medicaid
What is It? Under this provision, each state would get a set amount of money from the federal government to be used for Medicaid each year. Yet as many critics point out, while this could decrease the federal cost regarding Medicaid payments, if the number of people applying for Medicaid were to go up, states wouldn’t get any more money for the increased enrollment.
Who is It For? The Medicaid block grants provision was put in the AHCA to appease the Freedom Caucus. Right now, many fiscal conservatives don’t feel the GOP healthcare bill goes far enough in cutting the costs of healthcare. This is in hopes of appeasing some in the Freedom Caucus that want more cuts, specifically toward the government cost on Medicaid.
Medicaid Work Requirements
What is It? Medicaid work requirements revolve around the idea of having states enforce employment requirements – whether that be actively searching for a job or being employed – to be qualified for Medicaid. In the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), some states wanted to add the Medicaid work requirement, but federal officials rejected the idea.
Who is It For? The big reason to add this provision to the AHCA is to appease the Republican Study Committee. While fiscal conservatism is a big part of their caucus’ mantra, this move is more about recognizing state’s rights than about trying to limit Medicaid funding.
The “New York Provision”
What is It? It’s a pretty obscure amendment to the AHCA that targets Medicaid funding that specifically blocks the New York region from gaining federal reimbursements for payments made by its surrounding counties in the state of New York.
Who is It For? It’s a provision specifically trying to sway House GOP members that represent the counties surrounding New York area. While the amendment won’t sway a huge number of Republican congressional officials, considering every GOP vote counts to get the AHCA passed in the House, the New York delegation’s support is surprisingly crucial.
Reimbursement Rates for the Elderly
What is It? What the provision does is create a $75 billion slush fund to give the Senate, so they can figure out how provide subsidies for the elderly in terms of curbing the cost of medical care.
Who is It For? While technically the provision is placed to appease more moderate members of the Republican Party, in reality it could be seen as a safety net for everyone seeking re-election in 2018. Powerful groups (like the AARP) and many of their constituents are against the GOP’s healthcare plan because it raises healthcare costs for senior citizens. By potentially offering a reimbursement option, it gives GOP members of Congress something to campaign on (or deflect blame) in terms of voting for the AHCA when seeking re-election in 2018.
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