May 26, 2017

How Medicaid spending caps would hit the states

One of the biggest health care decisions Senate Republicans will have to make, if they take the House idea of per-capita caps for Medicaid, is what spending growth rate to use. Here's a look at how many states would be hit under four different growth rates, using data from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Their analysis is here, but we'll just show you the numbers and let you figure it out. The point is, if you see orange or red, the state is losing federal money. And red = really bad.

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The maps compare what would happen if Medicaid per capita spending was limited to:

The growth rates in the House bill.A looser measure, the medical inflation rate plus one percentage point.A tighter measure, the inflation rate for all urban consumers (favored by conservatives like Sen. Mike Lee).Historical Medicaid growth rates.What it means: This is what would have happened to these states in 2011 under the different kinds of caps. It's not a guarantee of what would happen in the future, since the state populations and health care costs are likely to change.The bottom line: Some states would be fine, because their spending wouldn't hit the caps — but the limits could hit anywhere from 23 to 45 states, depending on how tight the caps are.

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