The Slatest

New GOP Health Plan Devotes Six of 60+ Pages to Dealing With Lottery Winners’ Coverage

A sign showing a Powerball prize outside a deli in Washington on Jan. 11, 2016.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Republican health care plan finally dropped! Boom. This is the big one. Bigger than Beyoncé. After years and years and years of whining and complaining about more Americans having health coverage, the GOP finally can slide its finely tuned alternative, the well-polished health care plan of its dreams, into the American legislative system and bada bing bada boom—so long Obama and the Affordable Care Act! Hello, the Affordabler Care Act. How did Donald Trump and the Republicans do it? Well, there will be ample time to debate the fine points of health care policy and what it means for America and Americans, but for now let’s take a quick look at one of the features of the Republican health plan—lottery winnings. Wait, what? Exactly.

Part of the GOP’s plan involves reducing state Medicaid costs, a program that gives low-income individuals and families access to health coverage that was expanded under Obamacare in many states. But what is the GOP plan’s numero uno idea for cutting state Medicaid costs? Taking on, you know, your everyday lottery winner or, more technically, “letting states disenroll high dollar lottery winners.” I feel better about this bill already.

If that seems absurd, just know that the word lottery was mentioned 11 times in the GOP health care plan. The important issue of Medicaid got equal attention with 11 mentions. A full six pages of the 60-plus page bill were devoted to lottery winnings. Lottery winnings! Essentially, the GOP bill’s big idea on this—to which it devoted nearly 10 percent of its attention—is figuring out ways to make sure lottery-winners on Medicaid can’t cheat the system. Seriously. The bill goes on and on and on to stipulate under which circumstances the state can declare you no longer in need of—nor entitled to—Medicaid.

For example:

If you want to, you can keep reading about what your future lottery winnings might do to your health care options here (p. 10–16).

After six years, the Republican Party just came to the American people with savings from kicking lottery winners off Medicaid? That’s the plan? The GOP clearly isn’t too worried about losing the Powerball vote.