Senate Republican Health Bill Would Harm Arkansas’ Workers
The Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million people by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. Arkansas would see particularly deep coverage losses, because the Senate bill would effectively end the state’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA and would slash the subsidies that help people afford coverage in the individual market. Many Arkansans who didn’t lose coverage under the Senate bill would end up with worse or less affordable health insurance.
The Senate bill would effectively end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and would also radically restructure Medicaid funding in all states, cutting federal Medicaid spending by $772 billion over ten years and slashing enrollment by 15 million people by 2026. It would also cut subsidies that help people afford coverage and care in the individual market. Overall, the bill would cut more than $1.2 trillion from Medicaid and marketplace subsidies to finance tax cuts for high-income people and corporations.
Plan Would Leave Many of Arkansas’ Workers Uninsured
In 2015, only 57 percent of employers nationally offered health benefits to their employees. Many of those who don’t get coverage through their jobs rely on Medicaid coverage for themselves and their families.
278,000 Arkansans would likely lose the coverage they gained through Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion under the Senate health bill. Many work (or recently worked) in jobs that pay low or moderate wages but are crucial for the state’s economy. For example:
Without Medicaid expansion coverage, many of these Arkansans would likely become uninsured. In addition, the Senate bill’s proposal to cap and cut federal Medicaid funding would result in deep and growing cuts to state Medicaid programs. That would result in increasingly severe Medicaid cuts to the children, seniors, and people with disabilities in Arkansas who rely on the program today. They could end up uninsured or going without needed health and long-term care.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the 278,000 Arkansans newly eligible for Medicaid as of March 2016; CBPP analysis of 2015 American Community Survey public use file for percentage distribution by industry and occupation (figures include major and detailed industries and occupations); Congressional Budget Office, “H.R. 1628, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” June 26, 2017, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849; Kaiser Family Foundation, “2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey,” September 22, 2015, http://www.kff.org/report-section/ehbs-2015-summary-of-findings/.