Report: Under GOP health plan, 600,000 Coloradans eventually lose Medicaid coverage

March 16, 2017 Updated: March 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm
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photo - Stethoscope over the dollar bills.
Stethoscope over the dollar bills. 

Nearly 600,000 Coloradans will likely lose Medicaid coverage and become uninsured by 2030 under the Congressional Republicans' latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, a report released Thursday found.

The coverage losses come as Colorado faces a $14 billion drop in federal Medicaid funding by the year 2030 under the proposed law, which slashes money for the program while capping future funding levels.

The analysis of the proposed American Health Care Act was released Thursday by the Colorado Health Institute, a Denver-based research institute that does not lobby or take positions on proposed legislation.

Few options exist to avoid dropping coverage of one-third of the state's Medicaid enrollees, said Joe Hanel, a Colorado Health Institute spokesman.

State lawmakers can either cut Medicaid's benefits, reduce provider payments or find another funding source, said Joe Hanel, a Colorado Health Institute spokesman.

"They're faced between kicking people off their insurance and blowing up the state budget," he said. "The state just does not have the money for that. No amount of cutting other departments could help."

Many of those left uninsured would be people - particularly impoverished adults without children - who were covered under Medicaid's expansion from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Those coverage losses are expected to begin in 2020.

The report follows on the heels of the Congressional Budget Office scorecard this week that found 24 million will likely become uninsured under the proposal - completely wiping out gains made lowering the nation's uninsured rate under its predecessor.

However, the proposal also would lower the federal deficit by $377 billion over the next 10 years.

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