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Valued Social Butterfly
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What's at Stake on November 6th

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Message 11 of 11

We're fighting for three specific programs on November 6th:

 

  • The ACA, and specifically protections for preexisting conditions
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

Mitch McConnell and Steve Scalise both promised in October to bring up ACA repeal yet again if the GOP wins both houses. We dodged a bullet in 2017 by one Senate vote (John McCain), but if the GOP bill had gone through, it would not only have repealed the ACA but also would have cut Medicaid by 40 percent (in other words, by much more than the ACA Medicaid expansion.)

 

Mitch McConnell has also promised to bring up Medicare "reform" in 2019, arguing that significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security are needed as these programs (according to him) drive the national debt. This is exactly what many of us predicted when the 2017 GOP donor tax cut was passed. (Remember that we pay more on debt service each year than on Medicare.)

 

Two GOP ideas to reform Medicare would be to raise the eligibility age and replace Medicare's fee-for-service system with a voucher program. Under a voucher program, Medicare enrollees would get "premium support" to buy insurance on the private market. The voucher would be for a specified amount and would not necessarily cover the cost of the premium, and Medicare's guaranteed coverage would disappear.

 

The GOP would like to turn Medicaid into a state block grant program because that transforms the relationship between the federal government role and that of the state. The federal government would become a contributor, but would not be responsible for covering a portion of every participant's costs. States would bear the burden of cutting Medicaid costs (and likely participation) as Congress allocated less and less money to the grants. The biggest impact on states would likely be that they would have to cut nursing home costs, as these are a huge part of each state's Medicaid budget.

 

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