The U.S. Senate bill targeting health care reform has sparked fear among some Missouri nursing home providers and patients about what will happen if proposed Medicaid cuts become a reality. About 89,000 Missourians 65 and older rely on Medicaid to help pay for their long-term care in nursing homes.
Medicaid, the government-run health insurance program for the poor, pays for 63 percent of all nursing home care in the state, according to data from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
Although the Senate lacked the necessary votes to pass the GOP health care bill before its Independence Day recess, worry remains because both the House and Senate health care bills call for cuts to Medicaid.
The Senate version would reduce Medicaid spending by $772 billion through 2026 and result in 15 million fewer enrollees in the program, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis.
With less federal funding, states would be forced to either assume more of the costs or scale back services.
Many have speculated that the elderly and disabled, who drive a majority of the spending in the program, would be disproportionately targeted in an effort to reduce spending at the state level.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch