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SHOT/CHASER: Voters vs. Dean Heller on Cuts to Medicaid

SHOT:

From yesterday’s Quinnipiac Poll:

“Voters oppose 65-30 percent decreasing federal funding for Medicaid. Republicans support a Medicaid cut 49-39 percent, while every other listed group opposes the cut by wide margins.”

CHASER:

The Hill: Sen. Heller Supports Seven-Year Phase-Out Of Medicaid Expansion Funds

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a key GOP senator on healthcare who is up for reelection next year, said Thursday that he supports a seven-year phase-out of funding for ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid.

“I support seven, I support seven,” Heller told reporters on his way into a healthcare working group meeting in the Capitol. “So do a number of us, including [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio] and others who have been working on this.”

Heller’s comments indicate that he is willing to end the extra federal funding for Medicaid expansion, as long as it is on a slow enough timetable.

Reno Gazette-Journal: Heller indicates support for seven-year rollback of Medicaid expansion 

However, Heller’s Thursday statement mark the first indication he is willing to end the Medicaid expansion that has covered more than 200,000 Nevadans since the law took effect. Around 600,000 Nevadans rely on Medicaid in some form currently. 

HuffPost: Those ‘Moderate’ Senate Republicans Are Caving Fast On Obamacare Repeal

Apparently taking Medicaid away from millions is fine as long as it happens slowly.

It looks as if some of the Republican senators who were determined to protect the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion aren’t so determined after all.

On Thursday, while most of Washington was watching former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) indicated he would support an emerging deal that, in the course of repealing Obamacare, would eventually cut off new federal matching funds for the law’s Medicaid expansion.

Those matching funds, which enable states to open up the government insurance program to those whose incomes are below or just above the poverty line, are hugely consequential. Thirty-one states have taken the money, and, as a result, 11 million to 12 million newly eligible people have gotten health insurance.

Without those funds from Washington, most states would likely restore the narrower eligibility for Medicaid ― effectively wiping out the coverage gains, leaving millions of low-income Americans with worse access to health care and more exposure to crushing medical bills.