Senate health care bill ratchets up fear over losing TennCare services for people with disabilities

THE TENNESSEAN

June 24, 2017 — Tennesseans with disabilities make up 10 percent of TennCare enrollees yet account for 35 percent of the annual costs. The AHCA tied Medicaid funding to medical inflation. The Senate bill does, too, for a few years but ultimately ties funding starting in 2025 to consumer goods inflation, which grows much slowly than medical inflation.

The Sycamore Institute found that since 2006, TennCare spending per enrollee grew faster than than general inflation at a rate between medical inflation and medical inflation plus 1 percent.

The pressure on state budgets could lead policymakers to make changes to benefits, eligibility or the payments made to providers. And if Tennessee wound up spending more than the national average then the Senate bill would allow the federal government to reduce its contribution as a penalty to encourage efficiency.

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