Baton Rouge, LOUISIANA – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill being pushed by Sen. Bill Cassidy would cut Louisiana’s federal funding for health coverage by $2.3 billion in 2026, according to a new report by the Washington DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Congressional Republicans’ failed effort to repeal the ACA has opened the door to another path: a transparent, bipartisan effort to strengthen our health-care system without taking people’s coverage away or gutting Medicaid. The public supports this approach and bipartisan Senate hearings slated for September offer a first step forward.
Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham are reportedly working with the White House to block this emerging, bipartisan path and instead revive the ACA repeal effort by pushing their own version of a repeal bill, the Cassidy-Graham proposal.
“Despite claims to the contrary, the Cassidy-Graham plan is just another ACA repeal bill that would have the same devastating effects on Louisiana as the previous repeal bills that failed,” said Jan Moller, executive director of the Louisiana Budget Project. “Like every other ACA repeal bill we’ve seen, it would take coverage from hundreds of thousands of Louisianans and put incredible strain on our state budget.”
The plan would eliminate the ACA Medicaid expansion, which covers 437,000 Louisianans. It would also eliminate tax credits that help 122,000 moderate-income Louisiana residents afford marketplace coverage and subsidies that help low-income residents with out-of-pocket health costs like copays.
A far smaller block grant would replace both Medicaid expansion funding and marketplace subsidies, and the plan would also cap and deeply cut the rest of the Medicaid program just like previous Senate and House repeal bills. And, after 2026, the block grant would disappear entirely leaving Louisianans high and dry.
“The public, experts across the political spectrum, and groups representing patients, hospitals, physicians, seniors, people with disabilities and others have forcefully and repeatedly rejected this misguided approach,” Moller said. “It’s time to focus on bipartisan solutions that strengthen – rather than weaken — our health care system.”