State lawmakers brace for financial impacts from ACA repeal bill

The bill will likely see several changes in the weeks and months ahead

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts state lawmakers are making themselves heard after House Republicans in Congress unveiled a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The proposal would scale back federal funding for Medicaid. West Springfield state Senator Jim Welch told 22News the new plan would hurt states, like Massachusetts, that rely heavily on federal health care funding.

“Eventually, the states would have to make up the cost or make up the expense on covering their own – with less help from the federal government,” said Senator Welch.

Under the new “American Health Care Act,” states would receive a set amount of money from the federal government each year to pay for Medicaid.

As health care costs continue to go up, Harvard Medical School professor Richard Frank said it is uncertain whether Massachusetts can continue to help the elderly and poor pay for health insurance under the Obamacare repeal plan.

“Because you’re getting more, sicker old people into the program over time, the adjustments aren’t going to keep up with that. The difference is going to have to be picked up by the states,” said Frank.

The bill will likely see several changes in the weeks and months ahead.