On Monday, Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education introduced legislation, the Common Sense Deficit Reduction Act of 2011 (H.R. 3243). This proposal rescinds key provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation builds off of a letter Rehberg sent to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction earlier in the month, in which he proposes eliminating the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expansions under the ACA as an approach to achieving over $600 billion of the $1.5 trillion in savings that the super committee is responsible for finding. The proposal would eliminate:
1) the expansion of Medicaid income eligibility for families up to 133 of the federal poverty level,
2) Medicaid coverage former foster care children,
3) the increased FMAP for CHIP,
4) funding for grants to improve CHIP outreach and enrollment, and
5) CHIP expansion through 2015 (ending the program in 2013)
The legislation has yet to receive an official score from the Congressional Budget Office but Rehberg contends that the bill, which has been referred to the Energy and Commerce and the Ways and Means Committees, would eliminate costly entitlement programs, thereby reducing the deficit.