Press release: Congress’ proposed health care plan would reduce funding for Utah children’s health programs and services by $470 million by 2026, new estimates show

New analysis shows that the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month would lead to reduced funding for children’s Medicaid services and programs.

The report finds that the health plan’s proposal to restructure Medicaid by capping federal funding would lead to significant cuts to state spending for children.

The analysis, released today by Voices for Utah Children, examines recently-published data and the impact of the proposed Medicaid changes over the next ten years. The estimates find that Utah would lose at least $470 million in federal funding for children’s services over the next ten years. Researchers caution that this amount is likely to be even higher because not all children were included in the analysis, due to data limitations. Medicaid provides services to low-income children and children with special health care needs, including preventative services.

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The report is consistent with previous analyses by Voices for Utah Children which found that Medicaid caps would lead to significant budget shortfalls for the state. Previous studies looked at retrospective data finding that if Utah had enacted these caps ten years ago, the state would have lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

This new report provides further evidence to support growing concerns that Medicaid restructuring would lead to reduced funding for the state. Reduced funding would directly affect the health coverage and care for children, people with disabilities, seniors and pregnant women.

“Kids’ health care and coverage is at risk under a Medicaid per capita cap,” said Jessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst with Voices for Utah Children. “Capping Medicaid, a program that’s been working for over 50 years, will hurt our kids.” Mandle added, “Because federal funding would be reduced, there will be less money for our most vulnerable populations. States will either have to cut people from the program or cut services- or both.”

Recent analysis on the national impact from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that the American Health Care Act would reduce $834 billion from the federal Medicaid program and lead to 23 million more Americans losing their health insurance.

Read the full analysis here: