GOP’s health care bill doesn’t account for aging population, providers say

States with rapidly aging populations, like Missouri, are seeing increased costs to Medicaid programs that cover low-income residents.

But the Republicans’ health care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would create per-capita caps for federal Medicaid funding, potentially shifting increased costs to states. Advocacy groups for seniors are warn that the proposal working its way through Congress may not adequately fund their care.

The Republican proposal, called the American Health Care Act, also would quickly phase out federal match funds for states that expanded Medicaid programming through the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

Missouri’s Medicaid program, which did not take federal funds to expand eligibility, covers about 982,000 residents who are low-income, disabled, or pregnant. Two-thirds of enrollees are children.

But care for older and disabled enrollees tends to cost more, particularly when it comes to long-term care. One in five Missouri residents is projected to be over the age of 65 by 2030, according to projections by the state’s Office of Administration.

Members of Missouri’s Republican delegation did not respond to respond to requests for comment on Thursday, but several have posted public statements in support of the legislation.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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