June 30, 2017 Liz Borkowski 3Comment

Kim Krisberg has already ably described how the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” would gut Medicaid while giving massive tax breaks to the wealthiest, so I want to emphasize a few key points that are worth bearing in mind.

The Congressional Budget Office score of the Senate bill finds that over the next 10 years, 22 million people would lose coverage (relative to keeping the current law), and 15 million of those people would be losing Medicaid. The worst of the Medicaid cuts would come after 2026, though, as the per-capita cap on the federal share of spending rises much more slowly than healthcare costs.

  1. The House and Senate bills wouldn’t just undo the Medicaid expansion; they’d make this essential program far weaker than it was pre-ACA. With billions less in federal funding, states will be forced to cover fewer people and/or provide fewer services to those with Medicaid.
  2. Medicaid covers 49% of all births, 39% of all children, and 64% of all nursing home residents. Do we really think it’s acceptable or useful to cut their care so wealthy people can get tax breaks?
  3. Hospitals — and especially rural hospitals — will suffer financially under Medicaid cuts. Eleven states, including West Virginia and Kentucky, will see uncompensated care costs double. Bruce Seigel, president of America’s Essential Hospitals, told the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, “Let’s not mince words. This bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals, it will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. . . . People will die.”
  4. The bills’ per-capita caps would leave Medicaid unable to respond appropriately to epidemics or new treatments, when per-capita costs tend to jump. My George Washington University colleague Sara Rosenbaum gave a good example to the New York Times’s Margot Sanger-Katz: If drug makers produced a Zika vaccine that cost $50,000 a dose, we’d want every woman of childbearing age to be immunized. But few states would be able to make that investment if the federal government were no longer paying the share it does today.
  5. Cutting Medicaid is a moral issue. Medicaid is how we as a society ensure that people can get care when they’re at their most vulnerable. Deciding to do far less of that, with no credible alternative plan for meeting pressing healthcare needs, in order to cut taxes is immoral. I hope Republicans will revisit the words of President Johnson when he signed into law the Social Security Amendment Act that created Medicare and Medicaid:

    No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts.… there is another tradition that we share today. It calls upon us never to be indifferent toward despair. It commands us never to turn away from helplessness. It directs us never to ignore or to spurn those who suffer untended in a land that is bursting with abundance.

What else belongs on this list? What else should Senators be keeping in mind as they decide how to vote?

3 thoughts on “Five key points about Medicaid and GOPcare

  1. The sixth thing for you list should actually be the 1st as I can not imagine a health care system that could be viable when it ignores toxic chemical exposures.
    For instance;
    Less than 6% of 1,400 chemicals that threaten human health are tracked in health care. We are living in a “Toxic Soup” while modern medicine ignores the “Total Toxic Impact” on health care.
    In reference: Newspaper article titled
    U.S. Lags in Toxicity Data
    Wednesday, May 3, 2000
    Los Angeles Times, By SUNNY KAPLAN
    is archived at
    https://web.archive.org/web/20050426200055/www.angelfire.com/nm/redcollarcrime/lack.html
    >>>

    The link to the Congressional Report in
    question at the above linked in newspaper is;

    Testimony on Children’s Health and the Environment
    by Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
    Director, National Center for Environmental Health
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – posted at >
    http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t000502a.html

  2. Link correction from the Archive Wayback Machine:

    According to this Congressional Report from the year 2000 {17 years ago}, less than 6% of 1,400 chemicals that threaten human health are tracked in health care.

    The link to the Congressional Report in
    question is;

    Testimony on Children’s Health and the Environment
    by Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H.
    Director, National Center for Environmental Health
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – posted at >

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010304015550/https://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t000502a.html

  3. A simple answer to “what is wrong with healthcare” ?

    I can not imagine a health care system that could be viable, while it ignores toxic chemical exposures impacts on human health (1, 2).

    Less than 6% of 1,400 chemicals that threaten human health are tracked in health care (1, 2). We are living in a “Toxic Soup” while modern medicine ignores the “Total Toxic Impact” on #healthcare

    Frankly, I find this all rather absurd when I consider that there is a database that cross references 160 chronic conditions and illnesses with the toxic chemicals that can exhibit the same symptoms (3).

    Why do I find this to be so absurd ?
    Well for the simple reason that the vast majority of doctors know nothing about the database (3). And more often than not, people are diagnosed with an illness in which only the symptoms are treated, while the cause is ignored (3).

    How ever, the database that cross references and lists chronic illnesses by the toxic chemicals that can cause them {3} only deals with single chemicals AND DOES NOT INCLUDE TOXIC CHEMICAL COMBINATIONS {4}. Often, a combination of chemicals can multiply in their “Total Toxic Impact”, rather than add, Such as the combination of Lead and Mercury {5}. Of which are only two chemicals, out of tens of thousands (4).

    The reference is listed:

    Revelations Of The Toxic Lotto
    https://plus.google.com/111485701979929741583/posts/YcLmuHxPA5j

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