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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Congressman Ryan's Republican Budget: The Numbers are Disasterous

Congressman Ryan's Republican Budget: The Numbers are Disasterous

April 11, 2011

Imagine the current fiscal crisis, which has battered the state budget, extended for years and years to come. Imagine the current budget crisis getting worse and worse over time. That's what Congressman Paul Ryan's Republican budget would do to Massachusetts.

We blogged earlier about the US House Republican budget, how it would be a disaster for America, and worse for Massachusetts. A new analysis (pdf) tracks the fiscal impact on health care programs in Massachusetts. The numbers confirm our worse fears.

Deep cuts would be made to both the Medicaid funds Massachusetts is expecting over the next decade, and to funding provided to the state under health reform. Combined, the loss over 10 years would be a staggering $44.5 billion.

Here's the year-by-year breakdown of federal funds lost to Massachusetts compared to current projections (notice the millions change to billions):

2012: $53 million
2013: $436 million
2014: $2.15 billion
2015: $3.45 billion
2016: $4.47 billion
2017-2021: on average, 6.8 billion/year

These sums are hard to imagine in human terms. Let's help. The $436 million the Commonwealth would lose in 2013 is enough funds to fully cover over 120,000 children. The $2.15 billion the state would lose in 2014 could cover around 190,000 disabled seniors. If the $4.47 billion the state would lose in 2016 were taken out of Medicaid, it would lead to the loss of over 75,000 jobs, as our economy contracts due to the loss of federal funds.

Senator Scott Brown needs to understand that cuts of this magnitude would be calamitous for Massachusetts. Let him know what you think.
-Brian Rosman