Congressman Cramer was key architect of GOP health bill that also threatens Medicaid expansion for 20,000 North Dakotans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2017 

(BISMARCK, N.D.) – A nonpartisan report released yesterday shows the Republican health care bill, which narrowly passed the House and was authored in part by Congressman Kevin Cramer, could cut Medicaid funding for nondisabled children by $43 billion dollars nationwide, and by $59 million in North Dakota, over the next 10 years. Avalere Health, a leading healthcare research and consulting firm, prepared the report for the Children’s Hospital Association.

According to the report:

“Under an AHCA-like per capita cap model, federal [Medicaid] funding for traditional children would be reduced by a cumulative $43 billion over 10 years with reductions in spending becoming more dramatic each year.

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Further, spending reductions for children will be even more dramatic when accounting for children enrolled through the disabled basis-of-eligibility group. On average, 1.6 million children between 0-18 years of age are enrolled in Medicaid each month due to disability and would also be impacted by federal funding reductions under the AHCA’s per capita cap model.”  

Additionally, according to the report:

Nationally, children represent the largest group covered by Medicaid […] Children in Medicaid could be disproportionately affected by cuts to funding and benefits leading to instability in coverage and access, which can cause higher rates of unmet healthcare needs and worse health outcomes compared to children that have continuous coverage.”   

In addition to capping funding for non-expansion Medicaid, which is a key aspect of the Republican health care bill, the legislation would also end Medicaid expansion by 2020. This would be especially painful for North Dakota, where 20,000 individuals have gained access to health care through Medicaid expansion and would be at risk of losing their care. Medicaid expansion is also particularly important to providing access to care in rural communities throughout North Dakota.

“Cramer has prided himself on being a key player in crafting and passing a bill that tons of independent reports show would jeopardize the health care of thousands of children in North Dakota on Medicaid, including many with disabilities,” said Democratic-NPL executive director Robert Haider. “By pushing a bill that was rushed through the House and hasn’t even had time to receive a final budget score, Cramer has again shown his true colors. This bill does not work for North Dakota families. Cramer should be standing up for North Dakota’s children, but instead, he’s just looking out for himself.” 

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BACKGROUND:

20,000 North Dakotans have gained access to health care through Medicaid expansion: A medical assistance program that serves nearly 20,000 North Dakotans faces potential changes under a Republican health plan introduced in the U.S. House in February. Maggie Anderson, medical services director overseeing the Medicaid division in the North Dakota Department of Human Services, said the plan does not eliminate Medicaid Expansion eligibility, but it does considerably reduce the federal money in the partnership with the states […] The Department of Human Services had estimated 20,500 North Dakotans would be eligible for Expanded Medicaid. Initial enrollment was well below that figure, but numbers rose and eventually leveled off near the estimate, Anderson said. As of last September, there were 19,358 individuals enrolled. Statistics show 58 percent of enrollees are rural; 54 percent are female; 48 percent are ages 19 to 35; 18 percent are ages 35 to 44; and 34 percent are ages 45 to 64. Medicaid serves individuals to age 65.