U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday (July 13) released a revised version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The changes in the revised version are aimed at securing the votes of reluctant GOP senators in order to win the bill’s passage.
The new Senate bill, like earlier versions, would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed (capped) payments to states. The new bill makes no change to the indexing that would be used to adjust future federal Medicaid outlays, which under the Senate version would be pegged to the consumer price index (CPI-U) rather than measures tied to medical care costs, which historically have risen faster than the CPI.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected federal outlays for Medicaid under the Senate bill would decline by 26 percent by 2026 in comparison with projections under current law. (See previous post.)