GOP Rep. On Health Care Bill: ‘I Want To Learn More About The Medicaid Piece’

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March 14, 2017 4:10 p.m.

A Republican congressman in Illinois has joined the growing ranks of those skeptical of the proposal to replace Obamacare favored by congressional leadership and the Trump administration.

“I want to learn more about the Medicaid piece, particularly in Illinois,” Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) told Crain’s Chicago Business on Tuesday. The publication reported Roskam said twice that “yes,” that meant he was open to changes in how the bill treats Medicaid.

Roskam, according to the publication, called the American Health Care Act “very much a work in progress” that was subject to change.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in a report published Monday that the AHCA would cut federal spending on Medicaid by $880 billion over 10 years.

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The cuts would come from phasing out the expansion of the program authorized by Obamacare, and from turning the program into a block grant sent to the states with per capita federal caps. The CBO estimated that 14 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid as a result of the bill by 2026, versus if Obamacare stayed as law.

Though the AHCA has faced opposition from conservatives like the House Freedom Caucus and interest groups like Heritage Action, Republicans in the House and Senate have expressed concern about these Medicaid cuts as well, especially given that many of the 32 states (including Washington, D.C.) that chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare are governed by Republicans and serve Republican-leaning electorates.

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