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Sunday, October 22, 2017

5 Cuts That Even Scrooge Would Make This Christmas Instead Of Punishing The Unemployed

Use The Money Republicans Turned Down For Medicaid Expansion — At Least $8.4 Billion

Rick Perry

Currently 25 states led by Republican governors have turned down federal funding for expanding Medicaid, which would have covered 100 percent of the cost of extending coverage to those earning just over the poverty level. By doing this, they are driving up rates in their own state’s exchanges by 15 percent and sending billions back to the federal government that should be helping the unfortunate.

The RAND Corporation suggested that just 14 of these states—which include Texas, with the highest uninsured population in the nation—were turning down $8.4 billion in federal dollars.

But these aren’t the only health care savings that could be repurposed. The record slowdown of health care costs is steadily wiping out big chunks of the near-term deficit.

“Already, the Congressional Budget Office has quietly erased hundreds of billions of dollars from its projections,” The New York Times‘ Annie Lowrey wrote. “It now estimates that Medicare spending in 2020 will be $137 billion lower than it thought in 2010, a drop of 15 percent; Medicaid spending will be $85 billion, or 16 percent, lower; and private health insurance premiums are expected to be about 9 percent lower. ”

These projections assume the slowdown is temporary. If it isn’t, the savings may be $750 billion over 10 years. Enough to triple emergency unemployment benefits.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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