TennCare chief: Obamacare replacement holds ‘serious budget implications’

THE TENNESSEAN

March 14, 2017 — TennCare’s chief is concerned about how the GOP proposal to replace Obamacare is structured to reduce Medicaid funding without loosening up regulations for states to further tailor programs.

If TennCare managed to sustain its targeted 3.3 percent growth rate that’s set as a goal in recent years, then for four years under the AHCA the program could net an extra $115 million a year until 2021. But if its growth exceeded that and came closer to the national average projected by the CBO, 4.4 percent, then the agency could be short $2.6 billion over the next decade, according to an analysis by the Sycamore Institute, a Tennessee-focused nonpartisan think tank.

“The downstream effect (of Medicaid funding reform) is going to be tough decisions for Tennessee policymakers,” said Laura Berlind, executive director of Sycamore.

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