FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808
New Report Finds Governor Baker’s Medicaid Plan ‘Would Threaten Health Coverage for Tens of Thousands’
Massachusetts Democrats: ‘Governor Baker Should Be Ashamed’
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Democratic Party today responded to a new report from the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which found that Medicaid waiver proposals in Arkansas and Massachusetts “would threaten health coverage for tens of thousands of low-income individuals.” If the waivers are approved, Massachusetts and Arkansas would be the first two states to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid coverage for low-income working people.
“As Republicans in Congress work to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act this week, Governor Baker is asking the Trump Administration for permission to take away health coverage from tens of thousands of hard-working people across Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “Governor Baker should be ashamed that he’s trying to join Arkansas in kicking working parents off of Medicaid.”
The report found that “approval of Arkansas’ and Massachusetts’ partial expansion requests would mean that low income adults with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of the poverty line would no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage,” and that “although many of those affected would be eligible for federal tax credits to help buy coverage in the individual health insurance market, solid evidence indicates that a sizable number of them would become uninsured, while others would be left with less affordable or less adequate coverage.”
“That’s partly because individual market plans, even with tax credits, are less affordable than Medicaid for people with incomes just above the poverty line,” the report reads. “It’s also because some in this group would be ineligible for tax credits because their employer offers them coverage, even though that coverage would require them to pay a substantial share of their income in premiums.”
“Governor Baker’s plan to take Medicaid away from working families won’t reduce the overall cost of healthcare one cent. By forcing people onto higher-cost private insurance plans with less generous coverage, he’s just trying to shift the cost to hard-working families who are already struggling to pay their bills,” said Bickford. “Baker should stop his attacks on Medicaid and listen to Democrats in the Legislature who are working to reduce the real cost of health care by cracking down on the high cost of prescription drugs, investing in addiction prevention and recovery, and reducing hospital admissions.”
Background on the Massachusetts Republican Assault on Our Healthcare
In April, House Republicans announced a plan to charge premiums to 1.2 million Massachusetts residents who receive MassHealth, raising their annual costs by an average of $2,000.
Outside Section 72 of Governor Baker’s proposed FY2018 budget would have eliminated certain healthcare benefits for close to 300,000 people in the MassHealth CarePlus program for Obamacare beneficiaries in Massachusetts.
In July, Democratic members of the House and Senate rejected Baker’s initial attempt to kick 100,000 working parents off of Medicaid and onto private insurance plans with less generous coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs.