Consumer advocacy group says GOP budget plan would cost states $2.7 trillion in health care funding

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds up a copy of his budget plan entitled "The Path to Prosperity," Tuesday, March 20, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House adopted the plan on March 29. Families USA, a nonpartisan health consumer group, released a pair of reports Tuesday that outlines how the plan would decimate health care funding.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds up a copy of his budget plan entitled "The Path to Prosperity," Tuesday, March 20, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House adopted the plan on March 29. Families USA, a nonpartisan health consumer group, released a pair of reports Tuesday that outlines how the plan would decimate health care funding.

The Republican budget plan that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives would decimate health care funding in states across the country, according to reports released Tuesday.

States would lose more than $2.75 trillion during the next decade in federal funding for Medicaid and Medicare programs and for middle-class tax credits. The cuts would range from $5.3 billion in Wyoming to $303.8 billion in California. In Kansas, the cost would be $18.8 billion.

“The House Republican budget not only slashes funding to the states, it would decimate health coverage for seniors, people with disabilities, children and middle class families. It would force seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for Medicare coverage, and it would take away their ability to afford needed medicines,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a national consumer health group, which released the reports and says it is nonpartisan.

He said the proposal would end the Medicaid and Medicare programs as they exist and would repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010. The Medicare system would be replaced with a voucher-based premium support system for beneficiaries born after 1957. It also would eliminate Medicare coverage for 65- and 66-year-olds.

Here’s a look at how much federal funding Kansas would lose during the next 10 years under the GOP budget plan:

$5.3 billion — for Medicaid program that serves about 340,000 low-income elderly, children and disabled residents.

$4.6 billion — for expansion of Medicaid program. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility would be expanded to include anyone who earned 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The GOP budget plan eliminates the expansion.

$6.9 billion — in tax credit dollars. The Affordable Care Act provides significant tax credit subsidies for middle-class families so that they can better afford health care coverage. The budget plan eliminates those subsidies.

$1.9 billion — for Medicare program. Among the Medicare cuts would be eliminating help for seniors who fall into the coverage gap for prescription drugs, commonly called the doughnut hole. Currently under the Affordable Care Act, seniors who fall into the gap receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs. In 2011, 40,900 Kansans fell into the coverage gap but received an average $610 through the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. The gap would ultimately be eliminated under ACA, but the GOP budget plan would completely reopen it.

The budget proposal was introduced by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and was passed March 29 on a near party-line vote of 228-191. Kansas Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo voted in support of the plan, while Tim Huelskamp voted against it.

The Senate will now decide whether to adopt the budget or not. Pollack said most people think it will not pass the Senate because the majority of its members are Democratic, and no House Democrat voted for the bill.

“It may very well be that because we are in an election year, gridlock will continue throughout the course of this calendar year, and we may not have major changes with respect to the budget,” Pollack said.

To view the reports, visit

Tagged: Families USA, Medicaid, Medicare, Affordable Care Act


Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

So how about a budget for all Americans?

"Americans believe, and experts agree, that the solution to our debt and deficit woes should rely on three components: Job growth, increased revenues, and spending cuts. The Budget for All relies on all three.

"Our budget is a plan for those that believe in a government that works for them and helps find solutions [and invests] in Job Creation Now and Lays the Foundation for the Future by focusing investments ... in targeted areas such as transportation infrastructure, domestic manufacturing, and small businesses innovation, while supporting tax credits for working families."

Specifically, the CPC budget would:

—End emergency war funding beginning in FY '14, reduce base discretionary defense spending.

—Bring US troops home and realign national security strategy, saving $1.1 trillion over ten years.

—Invest $2.9 trillion in jobs, manufacturing, alternative energy, entrepreneurs and small business.

—Let Bush-era tax cuts expire for the highest incomes in '12, enact a high net-worth surcharge. —Treat capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income. —Limit regressive itemized deductions for high earners. —End corporate welfare, establish accountability to discourage—not subsidize—harmful activity.

—Reduce deficits $6.8 trillion, cut spending $749 billion, reduce debt to 62.3 percent of GDP by 2022.

The CPC's timeline for reducing debt and balancing budgets is, a many turns, more ambitious, than Ryan's.

There's a reason for that.

The CPC actually wants to make government work, not to rely on fantasies about "the market," and certainly not to reward Wall Street.

That's the distinction between these two budget proposals.

That's why, in anticipation of Thursday's votes, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Texas populist Jim Hightower and activists with Progressive Democrats of America, peace and justice, economic justice and tax fairness groups are urging support for the "Budget for All" with a message that:

"This budget would quickly and safely bring our troops home, create jobs, close wasteful loopholes, unleash creativity, as well as invest in our people and infrastructure—all while reducing the deficit and debt over 10 years!

The radical Ryan Plan threatens our precarious economic recovery.

Robert Borosage, the co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, sums things up well when he says:

“The Budget for All exposes the folly of trying to achieve deficit reduction while offering the most affluent Americans trillions in top end tax cuts, as the Republican plan proposes.

It exposes the lie that the country can’t afford to put people to work and still get our books in order. And it shows clearly that the nation can not only afford to protect Social Security and Medicare, but can’t afford not to."

Progressive Democrats of America

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

Healthcare Reform Report Card

Let's Compare:

Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All Vs. Proposed Healthcare “Private insurance with Public Option” Physicians for a National Health Program

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

It's in the table above-- they just use the actual name for the program, Affordable Care Act, rather than the attempted Republican smear name of "Obamacare."

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

hahahaha! Oh man! Seriously, where is that doggone comparison w/ the evil Obamacare? Boy those politicians must think we're really stoopid!

BigDog 6 years, 1 month ago

merrill you ask: So how about a budget for all Americans?

Then you talk about letting the Bush era tax cuts for wealthy expire in 2012 and enact a surcharge, Increase tax on capital gains (which impacts wealthy and retirees who live off that income), Then limit itemized tax deductions for high earners

Seems to me you want a budget based upon tax increases for the higher earners ..... Why if for all Americans .... let the Bush era tax cuts expire for everyone ..... and limit deductions for everyone?

Otherwise it seems a bit of tax them higher and let me keep all of my stuff from the government ....

BigDog 6 years, 1 month ago

Problem is everyone says that they want to balance the budget but few want to give up their government goodies ... whether it be tax breaks, welfare (corporate or other), subsidies for farmers, biofuels, oil companies, etc.,

We have become a ....

Ask not what you can do for your Country, ask what your Country can do for you society

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 1 month ago

And you've hit a problem that continues to grow. Don't take my pony, not in my backyard, etc. You're right, people get angry when their benefits are taken away (remember who gave them the benefits in the first place). Look at the violence perpetrated by the strikes in Greece, Europe, Britain, and the Occupy movement here.

This is why the founding fathers wanted only property owners to have the power to vote. If the masses realized they could vote themselves plunder from the national treasury, you'd reach a tipping point where it would be impossible to sustain and you'd fall off a cliff. In my opinion, I think we either have or will fall over that cliff, because few in Congress have the balls to do what is necessary to put the brakes on runaway spending. Too many are concerned about running for re-election from the day they take office vice doing the right thing.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 1 month ago

Merril, the entire premise of your argument is flawed. States lose $2.7T in funding. OK, where's the money come from? Taxpayers. So whether taxpayers are paying it in federal, state, or local taxes, they're paying it, so it's really a vacuous argument. I could make the same argument that not executing the Ryan budget will cost the federal government $2.7T.

And you lose credibility when you talk about war savings after FY14. There was never any intention for maintaining that level of effort for that long. It's like saying, "I'm going to build a bunch of buildings in the next ten years, wait, forget that. Hey look, I just saved $1T!" You can't make up appropriations you had no intention of authorizing and then say you've saved money by not doing them.

And for your $2.9T in investment in America, where has the payoff been? Borrow from the future to buy growth now and increase our debt, jobs get paid for in the year they are authorized and appropriated, then the year is done, the jobs are gone, and you are back where you started. Trying to tax your way into prosperity is like standing in a bucket and trying to pull yourself up by the handle.

Remember what happened after the Bush tax cuts? Growth exploded, peaking at an 8.8% annualized rate. We had months of job growth of 500K and more. Obama can't even dream about that.

I'm tired of paying taxes that get squandered by the federal government. Billions going to failing solar energy companies while wanting to punish those who are successful.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

The Bush tax cuts created zero increased employment, but contributed massively to the deficit. We can't base a society on your wishful thinking.

lunacydetector 6 years, 1 month ago

families usa is a progressive front group with ties to george soros. i'm so tired of these so-called "non-partisan" groups and their studies. i sure wish the left would stop with their lying propaganda. there should be a law that distinguished TRUE non-partisan groups before their crap goes to press like they are a legit news source.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

Would you care to point out the particular lies to which you refer? Or are you just disappointed that this wasn't drawn from a right-wing propaganda source whose lies appeal to you?

Scott Tichenor 6 years, 1 month ago

Remembering what Gingrich had to say about it...

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

A path to we rich people don't want to pay for poor peoples's medicare and medicaid.

ThePilgrim 6 years, 1 month ago

Why is this a surprise? Michelle Bachmann has even said, repeatedly, that the House Republicans' backup strategy on Obamacare was to defund it. Since the House is the source for all funding/defunding, it makes sense.

Obamacare/ACA will push hundreds of thousands of additional people onto State Medicaid. Up to 133% poverty level. These things are well documented, and even have a link on our own Kansas Department of Health and Environment site This will bankrupt the State coffers (even faster than Brownback), and require more Fed dollars. So the House defunds it and tries to cut it off at the roots, hedging all bets if the Supreme Court doesn't come through for them by declaring it Unconstitutional, and if Romney doesn't win and repeal it.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

People/voters/taxpayers/consumers/middleclass/ all have this problem.

It is looking up to the wealthy to represent values many of them know nothing about either because they have never lived it or forgot.

The wealthy want to be in government to protect their investments and their beyond reality lifestyles. Why in the world would people/voters/taxpayers/consumers/middleclass/ want to vote them in office? Why not vote into office People/voters/taxpayers/consumers/middleclass/ lifestyles and protections for our jobs?

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