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Bay State Concerns about GOP Proposals to Replace Affordable Care Act

As GOP lawmakers unveil initial plans to replace Obamacare, a new report says billions of dollars in federal support to Massachusetts are at stake. (WHOI Community/Wikimedia)
As GOP lawmakers unveil initial plans to replace Obamacare, a new report says billions of dollars in federal support to Massachusetts are at stake. (WHOI Community/Wikimedia)
February 21, 2017

BOSTON – GOP lawmakers are using this week's Congressional recess to provide some of the first details about how they plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. A new report says billions of dollars in federal support for the Commonwealth are at stake in this debate.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center finds one of every four dollars that supports the state budget comes from the federal government.

The group's president, Noah Berger, says GOP proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act are just the start of efforts that could trim billions of dollars in support for up to 30 state agencies.

"There's a really important partnership between the federal and state government that makes us possible for us to do every from provide access to affordable healthcare, to high quality education in schools across the state, and a lot of those dollars are potentially at risk," he explained.

One of the proposals on the table would end Medicaid expansion and replace it with block grants. The Trump administration believes states can provide more services for less money.

The Commonwealth's Medicaid program, MassHealth, provides affordable health insurance to almost 1.9 million residents, including 645,000 children. Berger says that's about 28 percent of the state's population, including many low-income working families.

"If the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed, or the Medicaid program was turned into a block grant, a significant share of the revenue that we get to provide health care access for people in Massachusetts could be at risk," he said.

Berger says it is not just cuts to healthcare, but the Bay State needs to brace itself to react to Republican proposals to make major cuts to education funding.

"The state receives close to a billion dollars a year in education funding from the federal government, and as part of the debate about large takes cuts, there is danger that education funding, and other funding, could be cut to pay for large tax cuts," he added.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA