SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Big changes could be coming to our nation’s healthcare, after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Hundreds of people come to the MassHealth Enrollment Office in Springfield to sign up for the state’s Medicaid program. Under the new healthcare bill, Massachusetts could lose more than $1 billion dollars in Medicaid funding, affecting the low-income people who sign up for the program.
Supporters of the American Health Care Act argue it would make insurance more affordable, but many of our state lawmakers disagree.
In a statement, Governor Charlie Baker said, “It would significantly reduce critical funds for the commonwealth’s health care system.”
Medicaid funding covers 1.9 million people in Massachusetts, which is more than 1 in 4 residents. Baker said he worries funding cuts could threaten a half a million people in Massachusetts who rely on Medicaid.
The government would no longer reimburse about half of whatever Massachusetts spends on the program. Under ‘Trumpcare,’ states would receive a fixed amount of funding for Medicaid enrollees every year, regardless of whether it provides full coverage.
Without federal money, Massachusetts could have to cut benefits, cut people from the program, or raise taxes and fees to pay for the program.
Massachusetts is one of the biggest spenders on healthcare. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, we spend more than $9,000 per person every year.