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Analysts Estimate Romney-Ryan Effect on Medicaid LTC Benefits

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A Medicaid block grant funding program proposed by Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, could get reimbursement for Americans who use Medicaid nursing home benefits by an average of about $2,500 per year over 10 years.

David Cutler, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Washington, and two colleagues have given that estimate in a commentary published on the fund website.

Cutler and his colleagues are predicting that, under the Romney-Ryan plan, Medicaid spending would be 35% lower in 2022 than it would be if current program rules continue, and that Medicaid spending would be 49% lower in 2030.

Medicaid plan managers spend about 23% of their budgets on people ages 65 and older who are also eligible for Medicare, the analysts say.

The analysts say they came up with the $2,500 per year Medicaid LTC cut estimate by multiplying 23% times the total amount of proposed Medicaid cuts, excluding the increase in Medicaid funding provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

The analysts then divided that amount by the projected number of seniors who would rely on Medicaid over the next 10 years.

The $2,500 estimated cut in the annaul Medicaid LTC reimbursement amount would require seniors or their families to cut back on use of nursing home care or find other ways to pay for care, the analysts say.


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