GOP health-care bill would strip funding for special-needs students

Paul Ryan and President Trump, talking
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Republican leaders say they have the votes to pass the American Health Care Act on Thursday, after Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) added an amendment worth $8 billion over five years to ostensibly help shore up state pools for people with pre-existing conditions. But amid all the debate over what to do about pre-existing conditions, less attention has been paid to the bill's sweeping cuts to Medicaid — the AHCA will cut the federal health program for the lower-income and disabled by 25 percent, $880 billion over 10 years, and restructure it with per-capita caps on certain groups of beneficiaries.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) touts ending Medicaid as an entitlement as one of the biggest accomplishments of the bill, along with cutting taxes for high-earners, but the deep cuts to Medicaid would also hurt students with disabilities across the country, The New York Times reports. "For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes," reports Erica L. Green, but "under a little-noticed provision of the health-care bill, states would no longer have to consider schools eligible Medicaid providers, meaning they would not be entitled to reimbursements."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.