Medicaid, Drug Treatment Facing Revisions and Cuts

Rev. Saeed Richardson Take Action

The proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act threatens nothing less than the dismantling of our national Medicaid program. Instead of a federal mandate, Medicaid will be passed on to the states.

Under proposed repeal and replacement, the designation of mental health and drug treatment will be eliminated as an essential health benefit for a broad range of very low-income families and individuals. When the must compete for state funds, these services will be the first to go.

Overall, regardless of any particular service category, state budgets will not be able to keep pace with health care needs of the poor. Funding based on per capita limits will be inadequate as program costs rise over time.

Many individuals in the 31 states who received coverage for the first time under Medicaid expansion will not qualify for care under state programs after 2020, perhaps sooner. This is, in part, because anyone who left the program after 2020 will not be able to re-enroll. Large numbers will fall precisely into this category due to changing incomes.

Nationwide, over 11 million individuals became eligible for health care under the Affordable Care Act. Governor John Kasich (R) of Ohio estimates that most of the 700,000 individuals added in Ohio will lose health coverage if Medical expansion goes away; Senator Cory Gardner (R) of Colorado is concerned about the outcome for 300,000.

It is important that we raise our voices in protest, especially in key states such as Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Massachusetts, where key Republicans — either governors, senators, or both — are worried about the loss of health care.

The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on ACA Repeal today. If it passes, it will then move to the U.S. Senate.

Support mental health and drug treatment. Insist that Medicaid as a federal mandate not be dismantled.