March 21 2018

Medicaid cuts could hurt older adults most

March 21 2018, 12:40 | Irvin Gilbert

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks during a listening session at the White House on June 21

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks during a listening session at the White House on June 21

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tracks health care costs, America spends far more on health care than other wealthy industrialized nations, with little added value. While Wicker has been firmly behind the U.S. Senate health care bill, Cochran's position remains fuzzy.

The U.S. bishops do "value the language" in the Senate bill that recognizes "abortion is not health care", he continued, and it at least partially succeeds on conscience rights.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates 22 million Americans would lose health coverage under the Senate GOP bill, the Better Care Reform Act.

In Oregon we see evidence of the benefits of Medicaid for people from all walks of life, and the economic and job security that Medicaid coverage brings.

Although it is similar to the ACA repeal that passed the U.S. House in May, state analysts found key elements of the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) were even harsher on OR and other states than the House bill, largely due to steeper Medicaid cuts. A degree in health economics is not needed to see that the Senate bill reductions would be hard for state taxpayers to fill. Since 1965, Medicaid has provided care for the kids who need it most. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent health care available, especially in rural and isolated areas. The BCRA phases out the Medicaid expansion over several years beginning in 2021, with the idea that those who fall out of Medicaid eligibility will access coverage through the individual insurance market.

Although the Senate plan's approach to premium subsidies differs from the House bill, the net effect will be similar: lower costs for young adults and increasing costs for older adults and low-income enrollees. She says the diversity among the states has been a hang-up to reaching consensus. They were off by more than 100 percent.

"The volume of applications was incredible", Hart said of the time after the expansion was passed. They are focused on cutting taxes, cutting government spending on health care (principally in the Medicaid program) and cutting the deficit. Hospitals in those states saw revenue increase, as people they were already treating could pay their bills and people who did not come for treatment suddenly did once they were insured. Author Kelly O'Donnell said her findings, based on the House-passed bill, are still relevant in light of the CBO report on the Senate bill. Those who have Medicaid report it provides them with better coverage and financial protection than those with private health insurance. It now covers one in four Oregonians through the Oregon Health Plan. "We don't know exactly, but when you have 25% cuts, we know that there's going to be pretty negative impact on services provided". And a 21-year-old earning $56,800 or more would pay about $1,000 less under the Senate bill for a yearly premium compared with current law, whether it's a bronze- or silver-level plan, according to CBO's projections. Since our legislators did not take the federal money to expand Medicaid in North Carolina, it is likely that they will avail themselves of newly permitted measures to lower Medicaid costs.

The elimination of the individual mandate and federal spending reductions in Medicaid will leave fewer people enrolled in Medicaid, but some of those patients will use less hospital care, accounting for the decrease in costs.

The forecasters were closer to actual results on other major components of Obamacare, including Medicaid and employer changes.

Frank Clemente is executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. "This massive reduction in resources will have severe fiscal and human impacts". Even President Donald Trump, a man known for flinging insults via Twitter, called the legislation "mean".

With just 15 beds, the not-for-profit critical access hospital in Holyoke, Colorado, was operating at a loss of 3 to 4 percent annually, said CEO Trampas Hutches.

Moe and Cormier didn't comment on the bill either but spoke favorably of Medicaid specifically.

"It would be detrimental, I think, to lose the funding for Medicaid expansion", she said.

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