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The Future of Medicaid

One of the biggest promises in the Trump candidacy was repealing Obamacare, a promise he attempted to follow through on within the first few months into his presidency. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, was a widely known proponent, who worked to rally votes and repeal Obamacare in order to get The American Health Care Act implemented in it’s place. While the vote was called off before a final count was made, the American Health Care Act still has some changes to make before there will be bi-partisan agreement. It is not a surprise that this program was one of the first to be reconsidered for funding, the program covers 74 million people alone.

 

Lawmakers were drastically divided on the topic, with those focused on public health benefits contesting the bill due to the cut in benefits that those most in need would experience, Once Obamacare was fully implemented, Medicaid programs across the nation greatly expanded, giving coverage to 11 million Americans opting for coverage under the federal program, which in turn assisted states who were not able to pay for the health care expansion for their citizens on their own. Medicaid was able to expand coverage to so many Americans by qualifying low income individuals for the program and paying through state and federal funding. Governors in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio all oppose any kind of restructuring for their Medicaid programs. Kansas and North Carolina are currently attempting to expand their Medicaid in light of the recent bill failure.

 

On the other side of the debate, critics of the mandatory health care system feel that it has left states and citizens ‘hooked’ on the federal government supplying funds for health care now. The states that receive federal assistance with Medicaid cannot sustain losing the funding while still providing coverage to all their citizens. While some states are starting to cover some costs associated with their Medicaid expansions, the federal government in 2017 is still covering at least 90% of the costs associated with the expansion, which is projected to continue through 2020.  Critics continue to note the declining insurance provider participation in Medicaid and Obamacare services which fails to provide medical specialists.

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