What We're Reading: Kansas Eyes Medicaid Expansion; AHCA Ultimatum; CBO Score Revision


Kansas Moves to Expand Medicaid

As the vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) nears in Washington, DC, lawmakers in Kansas are moving forward with expanding Medicaid. According to The Wichita Eagle, Kansas state lawmakers crafted the expansion bill with an eye to AHCA, which would take away a provision that the federal government pays 90% of expansion costs. The Kansas bill would phase out Medicaid expansion if the federal match fell below 90%. Opponents say the bill should wait until a vote on AHCA, while supporters say they don’t want a decision in Washington to dictate healthcare in Kansas.

Trump Wants AHCA Vote Friday

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, delayed the vote on the Republican healthcare bill because it looked like the GOP didn’t have the votes to pass the bill. However, President Donald Trump won’t let the vote be postponed for long, reported The Washington Post. The president has delivered an ultimatum: vote on Friday or he’ll drop the healthcare debate and let the Affordable Care Act stand. Bringing the bill to the floor for a vote on Friday might result in it failing since negotiations with the conservative House Freedom Caucus fell through on Thursday.

CBO Issues Revised Score on Health Bill

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office has revised its score on AHCA after taking into account amendments made at the beginning of the week. Politico reported that coverage under the amended bill would not change, but it would reduce the deficit by far less. The original report forecasted that the bill would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over 10 years, which Republicans held up in support of AHCA, but the CBO now says that the changes to the bill would mean it only reduces the deficit by $150 billion over 10 years.

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