Iowa Hospitals Oppose Medicaid Changes in House GOP Healthcare Bill

Jun 7, 2017

As the U.S. Senate crafts a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Iowa Hospital Association is emphasizing its opposition to the bill that came out of the U.S. House.

Iowa hospital leaders expressed concerns about proposed cuts to Medicaid funding Wednesday at a news conference in Cedar Rapids. They say cuts would cause problems for patients, hospitals, care providers and the state budget.

"So what would happen if these cuts came is you would either kick people off the program, you would lower benefits, or you would drastically reduce what you’re paying hospitals and other Medicaid providers," says IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.  

The American Health Care Act—passed by the U.S. House—would roll back the expansion of Medicaid and cap funding for the traditional Medicaid program.

Cindy Mann is a national Medicaid expert and used to be a top Medicaid administrator. She says a per-capita limit on Medicaid spending means the federal government would not be on the hook for increased care costs.

"All of those additional costs would be borne by the state--not shared by the state and the federal government. Or people would lose coverage and people would lose care," Mann says.  

Mann estimates a cap on federal Medicaid spending would cost Iowa between $450 million and $786 million five years into implementation. She was at an IHA conference in Cedar Rapids to discuss how restructuring Medicaid could affect Iowa.

The Senate is expected to vote on a healthcare bill this summer.