The House Budget Proposal released earlier this week has plenty of bad news to go around—especially for our seniors, children, people with disabilities and the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans who stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. One thing is clear Paul Ryan's Budget Resolution would have devastating consequences. Here’s a quick overview of the drastic changes and devastating cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act that this budget would make a reality.This proposal would:
- Privatize Medicare, taking away seniors’ guaranteed benefits and replacing it with a voucher (fixed amount of money) to buy insurance on the private market.
- Raise the eligibility age for Medicare—from 65 to 67! -Reopen and make permanent the “Donut Hole” gap in prescription drug coverage.
- Slash $1.43 TRILLION from Medicare and Medicaid -Raise taxes on working families and small businesses by taking away new tax credits put in place by the Affordable Care Act
- Turn Medicaid into a fixed-amount block grant program and reduce federal Medicaid funding by 33%. This means that states would get a reduced yearly lump sum payment and when that money runs out, states would be forced to pick up the tab entirely or cut coverage and services to beneficiaries—mostly seniors, children and people with disabilities.
- Eliminate the planned Medicaid expansion set to take place in 2014 that will allow childless adults making up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (around $14,400) to get covered.
Here in Virginia, we would lose $508 million in tax credits for working families to help make coverage affordable—just in 2014 alone. We would lose over $10 billion in federal funding to expand our Medicaid program between 2012 and 2021, and we will see over 692,000 more Virginians uninsured by 2021 as a result of this budget. This budget proposal is a blatant attack on the Affordable Care Act and our most vulnerable citizens!
Our partners at Families USA have released a special report (“House Republicans Propose to Slash Funding For Medicaid, Medicare, and Other Health Coverage Programs”) detailing how much federal funding Virginia would lose for Medicaid, Medicare and the new tax credits to make coverage affordable put in place by the new health care law. It also shows how many more people will be forced into the ranks of the uninsured in our state if this proposal moves forward.