The easiest way to think of the health care bill the Senate unveiled last week is not as a health care bill at all, but rather as a trillion-dollar tax cut funded by hacking away at programs that provide health care to lower-income Americans, especially children and those with disabilities—namely, Medicaid, which stands to lose $772 billion over the next decade.
The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion would be gone. That wouldn't matter in North Carolina, which never expanded Medicaid. But this would: under the Senate bill, federal funding would switch to a block grant, locking in already-low spending and tying increases to a formula that wouldn't keep up with inflation. Less money, of course, means fewer services.
As Scott St. Clair, president of the N.C. Pediatric Society, told N.C. Health News, "Any cut to Medicaid is a cut to kids, particularly lower-income kids, particularly in more rural areas of North Carolina."
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the Senate bill, which predicted that fifteen million Medicaid recipients would get booted from the program. According to an analysis of the House's similar American Health Care Act, more than one hundred thousand of them would come from the Tar Heel State.
So what do the state's Medicaid recipients look like? Who would be hurt if the Senate's attempt at health care reform passes?
Here are some facts you need to know.