Report: Senate health reform cuts $3.1b from Alaska’s Medicaid

Protestors at the U.S. Capitol in May. Photo by Liz Ruskin.

A new state-commissioned analysis of the U.S. Senate health care bill said it would lower Medicaid payments to the Alaska by $3.1 billion over six years. That’s an even bigger cut than in the bill the House passed.

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The report by Manatt Health said the 34,000 Alaskans now covered by Medicaid expansion could lose coverage after 2020, and the state may have to make cuts elsewhere, too.

In Washington this week, Senate leaders postponed a vote on the bill but said they’d try again after the July 4 recess.

The Urban Institute did its own analysis of the Senate bill. It said the legislation would leave 67,000 fewer Alaskans insured. The liberal think tank said Medicaid cuts, combined with lower support for people who buy their own insurance would slash federal health care spending in Alaska by $643 million in 2022.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.