The Trump administration said the Senate's healthcare bill provides enough money to help low-income adults to counter a new analysis showing federal funding for certain states could drop by nearly 40 percent.
However, major concerns remain from key governors on the deep cuts of $770 billion to Medicaid. Those concerns could imperil the health bill's chances of success in the Senate, consideration of which was delayed for a week due to Sen. John McCain's, R-Az., unexpected surgery.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Sunday said the new health bill includes "significant new funding to states, including tax credits, a stability fund with over $180 billion that states can use to help low-income Americans purchase coverage, and $45 billion to address the opioid epidemic."
Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma all tried to convince key governors during the National Governors Association meeting this weekend in Providence, R.I.
Chief among them was Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who was the first Republican to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Sandoval's support is believed to be key to getting the vote of Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who is up for re-election next year.
But the administration's full court press failed to convince Sandoval, who told reporters he still has concerns about the Medicaid cuts.
Complicating the administration's efforts was an analysis from the consulting firm Avalere Health that showed Medicaid federal funding would drop from 27 percent to 39 percent by 2036 depending on the state. The analysis was presented at the meeting.
Any "fair and accurate" analysis of the Senate bill needs to account for the stability fund, tax credits and opioid funding, CMS said.
"CMS is ready to partner with states to develop options that work best for their low income population," said Verma in a statement.
CMS' statement also comes a few days before an expected new score from the Congressional Budget Office on how the bill would impact insurance coverage and the deficit. An earlier score found the bill would result in 22 million people going without insurance for the next decade, 15 million of which comes from the cuts to Medicaid. The administration argues the Medicaid cuts are actually just a slow down in growth.
The bill also changes the structure of the tax credits given to people on Obamacare's exchanges to lower the price of health insurance.
The tax credits in the Senate bill are pegged to a plan that forces insurers to cover 58 percent of costs. However, in Obamacare the tax credits are pegged to a plan where insurers cover 70 percent of the costs.
Some experts have said the change could lead to lower-income people paying more money since their tax credits go towards a lower value health plan.
McConnell added $70 billion to the stability fund in the new bill version unveiled last Thursday.