House committee advances bill that would cut Medicaid funding

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has given the green light to a bill that has caused headaches for provider groups for its proposed cuts to Medicaid provider assessments.

The Common Sense Savings Act of 2016, which was advanced by the committee in a 28-19 party-line vote on Tuesday, aims to reduce the federal deficit via cuts to Medicaid. The bill would reduce provider assessments to 5.5%, down from the current 6% cap.

Both LeadingAge and the American Health Care Association slammed the bill's proposed cuts earlier this week, calling them a “poison pill” and “significantly harmful.”

In a statement released Tuesday, AHCA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Clifton Porter II said the group was “deeply disappointed” by the committee's vote, and that the assessment reduction “cuts a lifeline” in the chronically underfunded Medicaid program.

“Contrary to its name, this bill as it stands today does not take a common sense approach to saving dollars,” Porter said. “We cannot allow frustration with existing policy to drive blunt decisions that affect millions of lives. Cuts of this magnitude will lead to less access to care and poorer health outcomes.”

The bill will now advance to a vote by the full House.