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Richest Americans gain the most from the Senate’s health care bill

The latest Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate’s revised health care bill won’t be available until next week, but the overarching trend of the three GOP plans analyzed so far is clear — more Americans will be uninsured and the majority of them will be poor.

Recent data from an Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center analysis on the original bill found that families making $ 10,000 or less risk losing more than 60 percent of their household income to health care costs. What’s more, America’s wealthiest families would actually benefit — gaining more than $ 5,000 in income through tax and benefit changes. Revisions to the Senate bill, including increased aid for low-income families and a decision to maintain two taxes on wealthier Americans, could affect these numbers.

American households making less than $ 75,000 lose money under the Senate health bill

But the impact on poor Americans goes beyond income. It’s also tied to where they live.

Researchers analyzed the uninsured rate by state and found states that experienced the largest coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act would now report the largest increases in their uninsured population. And in some states, especially those that expanded Medicaid and have a large low-income population, the number of uninsured would skyrocket.

In some states like West Virginia, 1 in 5 residents could be uninsured by 2022

West Virginia leads the nation in Medicaid coverage, largely due to its decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA. Over half a million people, or 29 percent of the state’s population, are enrolled in Medicaid. But if federal funding for Medicaid is cut as proposed in the Senate bill, researchers think states like West Virginia will see their uninsured population soar.

The uninsured rate under the ACA compared with the Senate bill

Lead Urban Institute researcher Linda Blumberg told POLITICO that states like West Virginia experienced a large uptick in the insured population under the ACA thanks to Medicaid expansion. “But now you tell this state we’re not going to pay 90 percent of the costs … [so] in order for the state to continue to cover that [Medicaid] expansion population, they have to come up with a lot more money,” said Blumberg.

Researchers say states won’t be able to make up the difference. That means states like West Virginia will essentially lose all the coverage it gained under the ACA.

Proposed cuts to Medicaid will leave millions of low-income Americans without health insurance

Under the Senate health bill, federal funding for Medicaid would largely dry up, leaving states struggling to make up the difference. According to an analysis from the Urban Institute, Kentucky would experience the largest drop in Medicaid funding — 58.5 percent. West Virginia would experience a 48.9 percent shortfall.

State Medicaid losses

Copy edited by Sushant Sagar. Production assistance from Jon McClure.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

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