March 22, 2017

Citing up to $2B in potentially at-risk federal funds, Baker girds lawmakers for healthcare debate

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Wikimedia Commons/Hsin Ju HSU

Massachusetts State House

The state budget in Massachusetts appears to be facing a double whammy: surging enrollment and costs in MassHealth at a time when the federal government is poised to pull massive amounts of funding out of health care.

In a letter to members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, Gov. Charlie Baker estimated the American Health Care Act sponsored by leaders of his Republican party in Washington would result in $1 billion less in federal revenue for Massachusetts in 2020, $1.3 billion less in 2021 and $1.5 billion in 2022, “with likely a greater annual impact in the years that follow.”

Antonio Caban / State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker

Baker also raised new concerns about federal support for a health care waiver his administration negotiated with the Obama administration prior to the November election.

The governor, who has said since President Donald Trump’s election that he believed the agreement outlined in the waiver was not in jeopardy, said in his letter that the federal bill “would put at risk” so-called 1115 payments authorized under the waiver accord.

“By FY22, the Commonwealth estimates an additional $425 [million to] $475 million per year of reduced federal revenue in potential elimination of 1115 payments not captured under the per capita targets, including federal matching funds for a state-run ConnectorCare Wrap subsidy,” Baker wrote in his letter released Tuesday, March 21, by his communications office.

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