Health and Science

GOP health-care bill a 'big step backward,' Molina Healthcare CEO says

Molina Healthcare CEO: This bill is 'a big step backward and called progress'

As Republicans tried to muster support for their health-care bill Thursday, one insurance executive told CNBC the measure is a bad idea.

That's because it will once again make insurance unaffordable, Molina Healthcare CEO Dr. Mario Molina said in an interview with "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"We are going to take a big step backward and we're going to call it progress," he said.

The GOP-controlled House will delay its vote on the bill, called the American Health Care Act, sources told CNBC. The vote was initially expected Thursday night, but the bill has been meeting resistance from within the Republican Party.

Members of the conservative Freedom Caucus have said they would not support the current plan, complaining it doesn't go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Molina said his main concern with the legislation is changes to Medicaid, which would go from open-ended payments to block grants to the states in 2020.

By his projections, that could result in an 18 percent or 19 percent cut since 2016 rates would be used in 2020.

"Right now Medicaid pays for half the births, one-third of all pediatric care and most of the long-term care in this country," he said. "It also cares for many people that are disabled. So it's a big program that covers a lot of people and we need to be very careful about the changes we make."

Molina Healthcare is currently an Obamacare provider, although Molina said he is waiting to see if the company will stay in the marketplace or leave. The GOP bill is one factor in that decision, he said.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.