GOP revamp would alter Medicaid

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GOP revamp would alter Medicaid

Columbus Dispatch – A new House Republican budget plan for the federal fiscal year that begins in October would provide Ohio officials with greater power to design their Medicaid program, but it would make it more difficult for hundreds of thousands of uninsured state residents to obtain health coverage.

The 10-year plan, which essentially is a budget blueprint that serves as a statement of the grandest ambitions of the Republican Party, was unveiled yesterday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. It would save trillions of dollars during the next decade by essentially revolutionizing the way federal and state governments deliver health coverage to the elderly, poor and disabled.

It would do so by transforming Medicaid into a block grant that state officials could use in devising their own model for the joint state-federal program, which provides health coverage to 2.2 million Ohioans, most of whom are low-income or children.

In addition, it would end the traditional Medicare system in which the federal government pays hospitals and physicians for treating the elderly. Instead, future beneficiaries would receive federal dollars to help in buying private insurance, similar to the health plans offered to members of Congress.

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