By Sam Baker - 04/20/12 04:47 PM EDT
States would have lost more than $500 billion over the past decade if Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed Medicaid cuts had been in place, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Friday.
While most fiscal estimates look ahead to future cuts, CBPP tried to demonstrate the magnitude of Ryan’s proposal by calculating how much money states would have lost if Ryan’s proposal had taken effect in 2001. The hypothetical provides 10 years of real spending data, rather than estimates.
Under Ryan’s plan, states would have gotten 31 percent less federal money over the past 10 years, according to CBPP. Arizona would have taken a bigger cut than any other state, at about 61 percent.
The analysis helps illustrate that Ryan’s plan wouldn’t keep up with the needs of the Medicaid program, CBPP said. The House Budget Committee chairman has proposed converting federal Medicaid funding into a block grant to the states and giving the states more power to drop people from the program and scale back their benefits.
The federal grants would get bigger each year, but they wouldn’t keep up with the rise in healthcare costs, CBPP said. As a result, millions of people would become uninsured.