February 16, 2017

Report: Billions in federal funds to Mass. could be in peril

About a quarter of the state's nearly $40 billion annual budget is paid for by the federal government, according to a new report, which warns that some of those revenues may be at risk under a Republican president and GOP-controlled Congress.

In "Partnership in Peril: Federal Funding at Risk for State Programs Relied on by Massachusetts Residents," the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center said as much as $1.8 billion is riding on the outcome of repeal-and-replace deliberations concerning the federal Affordable Care Act.

While acknowledging it's hard to predict, the report speculates that a shift to a block grant format to fund Medicaid could reduce annual funding by 25 percent or more within ten years.

The report quantifies the revenues the state receives for other programs, including more than $505 million for a public assistance program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, almost $110 million in child care funding, and more than $59 million in funds to help low-income families buy food.

In all, about $11 billion in federal revenues support programs and services overseen by 30 state agencies and departments, according to the report.

"Federal funding plays a crucial role in our state's ability to support quality public education, expand access to healthcare, protect vulnerable children, and create the conditions for a strong and prosperous economy," said Noah Berger, president of MassBudget. "Policy changes likely to be considered by Congress in the coming months could destabilize that partnership."

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