Medicaid advocacy to continue after GOP health bill dies, provider groups say

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Medicaid advocacy to continue after GOP health bill dies, provider groups say
Medicaid advocacy to continue after GOP health bill dies, provider groups say

Advocates for aging-services providers say they'll continue their efforts to protect Medicaid funding in the wake of Monday night's collapse of a Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act in the Senate.

The bill's apparent fate was sealed when two additional Republican senators said they would not vote for a motion to proceed, which was necessary for debate on the Better Care Reconciliation Act to begin. In their opposition to the vote, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) joined Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rand Paul (R-KY), who had committed to “no” votes last week. With no Democrats supporting the bill, the motion would not have received the 50 votes necessary to pass.

As originally proposed, the BCRA would have cut federal spending on Medicaid by $772 billion through 2026 compared with current projections under the ACA, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. A revised version of the bill left the Medicaid cuts in place.

“When the Congress began consideration of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, our message to protect Medicaid coverage of long-term care was consistent, and we are pleased that the message was heard,” National Center for Assisted Living Executive Director Scott Tittle told McKnight's Senior Living. “We will continue to work with the administration and Congress on policies that advance quality care for home- and community-based services like assisted living.”

LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said that her organization also would “continue to oppose any efforts to cut or cap Medicaid.”

“LeadingAge is pleased that the BCRA will not be considered in the Senate. It's clear that our collective voices have been heard through our extensive grassroots efforts,” she said.

After Lee and Moran stated their positions Monday night, some Senate Republicans said they would proceed with an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, but that effort appeared to stall Tuesday when Collins and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) said that would not support it.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, President Donald Trump said Congress should “let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan.”

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