April is Medicaid Awareness Month and a recent survey by Public Policy Polling aimed to find out exactly how American voters feel about the program. The survey results, released earlier this month, show that a large majority of surveyed registered voters are against any sort of cuts to the Medicaid program. Of the 741 voters surveyed, 66% opposed cuts, while 19% were in favor.
A February Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll found that 74% of Americans are in favor of the program, underscoring the general belief that the program is a lifeline for many low income children, adults, and elders.
Proposed Medicaid Changes
Medicaid is the main source of funding for 6 out of 10 nursing home residents and the program is the largest single payer of nursing home care in this country. Major changes to the program have been threatened recently, with Trump’s February budget proposal citing $22.5 million in savings by implementing cuts to Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies. The proposal called for a cap on federal Medicaid funding per beneficiary, forcing the states themselves to scramble to make up the difference, slash enrollment, or tighten rules for program enrollment. These changes were initially discussed in September by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and are referred to as the Graham-Cassidy Bill.
Before we get scared into thinking drastic cuts are on the horizon, it’s important to know that for the current budget to pass, 60 Senators would have to vote in favor of it, including several Democrats. 60 votes are required to pass a bill in the Senate. The odds of this actually happening are slim, but it doesn’t mean that some sort of cuts to the program aren’t in the future.
In honor of Medicaid Awareness Month, would like to share several facts about Medicaid, courtesy of Protect our Care:
- There are 3,042,715 Illinois residents enrolled in the Medicaid program.
- 36% of children in Illinois rely on Medicaid for health care.
- There are 6.9 million Americans age 65 and older enrolled in Medicaid.
- 57% of nursing home care for Illinois residents is paid by Medicaid (6 out of 10 nationwide).
- The elderly and people with disabilities make up 2/3 of all Medicaid dollars spent.
- 1 out of 5 Medicare recipients rely on Medicaid to pay for things Medicare won’t cover.
To find out more about the Medicaid Program, please visit https://www.medicaid.gov.