An ad recently released by the Obama campaign suggested that Mitt Romney would slash Medicaid funding and leave families with greater costs for nursing-home care. Romney has provided few details on what he would do with the program beyond posting a vague outline on his website. Then, why does the Obama ad say Romney would cut Medicaid? Because Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisc.), helped craft the House GOP budget, which would cap federal contributions toward Medicaid.
Romney said that he was “very supportive” of Ryan’s plan and that it sets the “right tone for finally getting spending and entitlements under control.” An internal memo said, “Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.”
Ryan’s budget proposal would roll back the Affordable Care Act, provide Medicaid block grants to the states and cap the federal government’s contribution. The Kaiser Foundation released a study that said “the repeal of ACA along with reductions in federal spending for Medicaid through the block grant would almost inevitably result in dramatic reductions in coverage.”
The Kaiser analysis laid out two ways that states could handle the Ryan formula:
1.) States could reduce per-person spending proportionally for all types of beneficiaries.
2.) States could reduce per-person spending but shield the elderly and disabled from cuts—thus forcing low-income adults and children to bear the burden of reductions.
The Kaiser report assumes that states would still need to reduce spending on senior beneficiaries by 10 percent and that the capped block-grant system alone would force about 26.8 million adults and children out of enrollment.
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