Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Trumpcare Hits Children’s Hospitals Hard – Forbes
The nation’s children’s hospitals may see a harsh reduction in funding and reduced care for their patients should the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, replace the Affordable Care Act, new analyses show.
The ACA expanded Medicaid in 31 states that opted to do so, particularly for children that tend to qualify for such coverage in greater numbers than adults. The AHCA, which narrowly passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, would roll back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and will lead to 14 million fewer Americans with insurance by 2018 and eventually 24 million would lose coverage by 2026, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in March.
“While only approximately one-fifth of Medicaid spending is for children, about half of Medicaid and (Children’s Health Insurance Program) CHIP enrollees are children, even following Medicaid expansion for lower income adults in many states,” a new report from The Chartis Group says.
Of the 74.5 million Medicaid and CHIP enrollees, 35.9 million are children , according to February statistics gathered by Chartis. “Assuming they will not change their patient bases sufficiently to compensate for potential Medicaid reductions, children’s hospitals will need to evolve their care models,” the report said.
The AHCA is backed by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Its fate in the U.S. Senate is unclear.
If enacted, AHCA would create credit risks and related financial concerns for Children’s hospitals, Fitch Ratings said in a report last week. “Proposed reductions to Medicaid and other supplemental healthcare funding cuts currently contemplated in Congress are likely to pressure these hospital providers over the longer term if enacted,” said Fitch director Emily Wadhwani.
The AHCA cuts more than $800 billion from state Medicaid budgets over more than a decade, hitting children’s hospitals particularly hard. “Children could see their health care cut by tens of billions of dollars,” the Children’s Hospital Association, which represents more than 220 hospitals, said. “Other changes contained in the bill would make the health care system worse for children, not better.”