Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't Call It A Bribe

Brother, can you spare a vote?
The House-passed bill, otherwise known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), included an amendment known as the “Buffalo Bribe.” Rep. Chris Collins sponsored the measure to prevent state governments from forcing local counties to contribute to a state’s Medicaid program. The Buffalo bribe appeared in the Senate healthcare bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which would make the bill easier to pass in the House if the Senate passes it.

The BCRA, like the House’s AHCA, places per capita caps on Medicaid spending and winds down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion after seven years. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) pushed for the revised BCRA to allow for exceptions to the caps on Medicaid spending in the event of an emergency, such as the Zika virus outbreak in Florida.

The Senate bill also changes the funding formula for hospitals based upon a state’s number of uninsured citizens, rather than the number of Medicaid enrollees that the original BCRA used. States that did not expand Medicaid such as Florida would benefit from this change.

Under the new BCRA, states that expanded Medicaid can now include their expanded population if they chose to block grant their Medicaid spending. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson lobbied the Senate leadership to include this change to Medicaid block grants.
One man's kickback is another's reward...

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