Missing Backbone: Gov. Rauner Complicit on Dangerous TrumpCare

The Congressional Budget Office finally released the non-partisan scoring of the newest TrumpCare plan.  Not only will this bill rip away health care coverage from 22 million Americans, it will also cause insurance premiums for those with chronic conditions to skyrocket, and slash funding for Medicaid.

Gov. Rauner has previously said he’d work with a bipartisan group of Governors to oppose TrumpCare’s cuts to Medicaid, but his name was missing entirely from a bipartisan letter  from governors that came out earlier this month.  He’s clearly hiding from this disastrous bill that would leave Illinois families paying more for less coverage and roll back efforts to fight the opioid epidemic… all for a few tax breaks for the wealthiest few.

State Waivers For Cutting Benefits: The new TrumpCare bill allows states to obtain a waiver to drop protections of essential health benefits like maternity care and prescription drugs, potentially leading to women paying thousands more for maternity care and seniors choosing between their regular prescriptions and groceries.

  • State waivers could lead to fewer providers accepting Medicaid patients, patients forgoing care that is not covered, or loss of access to Medicaid coverage altogether. “If states reduced payment rates, fewer providers might be willing to accept Medicaid patients, especially given that, in many cases, Medicaid’s rates are already significantly below those of Medicare or private insurance for some of the same services… If states reduced covered services, some enrollees might decide either to pay out of pocket or to forgo those services entirely. And if states narrowed their categories of eligibility or used administrative procedures that made it more difficult to enroll, some enrollees would lose access to Medicaid coverage, although some would become eligible for subsidies for nongroup coverage through the marketplaces or could choose to enroll in employment-based insurance, if it was available.” [CBO]

Medicaid Expansion Cuts: The bill would end Medicaid expansion in addition to slashing funding for the program. Past CBO analysis states that Medicaid expansion states could drop out entirely, which could drop coverage for nearly 650,000 Illinois residents.

  • One in 4 Illinois residents are insured under Medicaid.

  • Over 3 million Illinois residents were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP programs as of March 2017.

  • The Senate bill defunds Planned Parenthood, limiting 15% of their patients’ access to health care under the Medicaid program.  [CBO]

Cuts to Fighting Opioid Epidemic: The Senate bill would strip away Medicaid funding that Illinois relies on to fight the growing Opioid epidemic.

  • More than 1,300 died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2015. [Kaiser Family Foundation]

  • Drug overdose deaths rose 7.6% in Illinois between 2014 and 2015. [CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality, 2014 – 2015]

Tax Cuts for the Rich: The bill will give a tax break to the wealthy.

  • The bill “would repeal an array of taxes that have helped to pay for the ACA’s benefits, including levies on health insurers and on wealthy Americans’ investment income.” [Washington Post, 6/26/2017]

American Bridge spokesperson Lizzy Price made the following statement:

“Gov. Rauner has failed to lead on health care for years and now he’s hiding behind this horrendous bill that gives tax breaks to the wealthiest few at the expense of Illinois residents’ health. Rauner has no backbone to stand up and solve problems–Illinois families deserve more than cowering behind Congress.”