Letter: Medicaid cuts
There is one critical aspect of the AHCA that, I believe, is being overlooked. Medicaid, as we have known it for the last 60 years, is being fundamentally changed. The ACA replacement would, for the first time in history, limit the money that the federal government will pay states for Medicaid spending.
This cut in government Medicaid spending is largely what funds the $600 billion tax cut to the wealthy that is included in the bill. Our state would be liable for Medicaid funding over that “capped” amount, and even with the block grants that are proposed, it is predicted that our state will have to pay $370 billion over the next 10 years to keep Medicaid going in our state. It is predicted that services will have to be cut as well, and those cuts are likely to affect the most vulnerable, such as young people with disabilities.
The Congressional Budget Office predicted with the original AHCA version that 24 million people would lose their insurance, due to the repeal of the Medicaid expansion and decreased subsidies for health insurance. With the revisions, that is likely to be much higher. The AHCA being voted on last week takes away the mandates for insurance companies to cover prior conditions at the same rate, and to cover some conditions, such as pregnancy, at all. This is going to price a lot more people out of the insurance market, and is going to land a lot more people with expensive conditions on Medicaid. Which is, again, going to end up in cuts for services for the most vulnerable and increased cost to our state.
We have agreed, as a country, that a newborn with a heart defect gets surgery and that we all pitch in to care for people with severe disabilities. We all pitch in, because it could be us and because it is the right thing to do. There is legislation that is needed to fix health care, but this is not it.
Dr. Crystal Roney
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Centrists are likely extinct