Senate Plans to Slash Medicaid Even More Than Paul Ryan

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Just this morning I was wondering how it is that there have been so few leaks from the Senate’s health care team. They’ve really got things buttoned up tight over there. But today The Hill revealed this little tidbit:

The proposal would start out the growth rate for a new cap on Medicaid spending at the same levels as the House bill, but then drop to a lower growth rate that would cut spending more, known as CPI-U, starting in 2025, the sources said. That proposal has been sent to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for analysis, a Senate GOP aide said.

Let’s translate this into English. Between 2000 and 2016, the ordinary inflation rate, CPI-U, has averaged 2.1 percent. However, medical inflation has risen more rapidly, at a rate of 3.7 percent. Using these rates as estimates for the future, it means the House bill stays even with inflation by increasing its spending cap 3.7 percent per year. The Senate does the same until 2025 but then switches to 2.1 percent. In other words, after 2025, when you adjust for medical inflation, spending declines about 1.6 percent per year. Here’s how that adds up over the years:

Look: Those tax cuts for the rich aren’t going to pay for themselves. Somebody has to pay for them. Why not the elderly, disabled, and poor who are on Medicaid?

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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