President Trump’s budget plan released Monday endorsed an Obamacare repeal and replace bill that gives funding to states and makes cuts to Medicaid.
The budget called for the bill to be enacted “as soon as possible,” even though Republican Senate leaders have been skeptical of taking up Obamacare again this year after failing last year to repeal it.
“The president is committed to rescuing states, consumers and taxpayers form the failures of Obamacare, and supporting states as they transition to more sustainable healthcare programs that provide appropriate choices for their citizens,” the budget said.
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., are behind the legislation that takes Obamacare’s funding for the Medicaid expansion and tax subsidies for lower premiums and gives it to states through block grants. The senators introduced the bill in September along with Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Dean Heller, R-Nev.
The bill would end the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare but supporters say states can implement it individually if they want. However, the bill makes cuts to Medicaid overall by capping federal funding per beneficiary.
The bill failed to get enough support in Congress in September, as some senators from expansion states worried about Medicaid cuts and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The budget proposed adding $5 billion over five years for fighting the opioid epidemic. But Health and Human Services overall gets $17.9 billion, a 21 percent decrease compared to 2017 enacted funding levels.
It proposed several ways to tackle high drug prices, including experiments to test Medicaid drug coverage. A collection of five states would negotiate drug prices directly with manufacturers through their own drug formulary for Medicaid.
And, it called for speeding up the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to speed up generic drug approvals.