Economy

Letters: Senate health bill would hurt Louisiana

Letters: Senate health bill would hurt Louisianaā€¯

As a healthcare provider in Helena and Lincoln, PureView Health Center's staff and board have been playing close attention to the debate in Washington D.C. about what needs to change with health care in America. The Senate, so far, has spent none, and is planning to vote on the bill as soon as the leaders have enough votes to pass it.

Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been outspoken on social media against the Senate GOP plan, tweeted last week: "The GOP health care proposal would slash more than $135 million in federal funding available to PA schools". In addition, everyone else on Medicaid is in danger: The bill would put a per-person cap on federal Medicaid funding to West Virginia. Here's hoping it proves the starting point for a bold effort to improve the USA health care system, which costs far more than in other advanced nations without yielding better results.

Under the GOP's most recent plan, Medicaid spending would be 26 percent lower in 2026 than it would be under the agency's extended baseline, and the gap would widen to about 35 percent in 2036, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Medicare for all would avoid all these problems, and get lower prices and better care. Under this formula, as under current law, subsidy-eligible people would generally be shielded from annual premium cost increases, which would instead be absorbed by federal premium tax credits.

Five states - Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming - would be exempted from the redistribution because each has a population density of fewer than 15 individuals per square mile. Medicaid is not a distant program that benefits any one group of people - it helps Americans across all demographics - racially, economically and generationally. States sometimes integrate CHIP funding with Medicaid funding. We're surrounded by states that received that benefit.

The new Senate bill wipes out the Medicaid expansion completely by 2024.

In its analysis, Manatt found that almost twice as many states would be losers under the redistribution provision as would gain from it.

"This is nothing new, it's been this way since I became a nurse", Gulager said. Boley said he believed the other 13 states would sign on soon.

"We're going to go back to work on it next week and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to come up with something that does fix some of these problems that we talked about that are really affecting a lot of families here in Ohio", Portman said.

Some states, which run the nuts and bolts of Medicaid, have policies encouraging more responsible use of health care. Amodei says those are the people who are having the most hard time with the ACA. Some moderate Republicans who profess concern for the needy are actually trying to shift more of the cost of providing them Medicaid coverage from their states to the federal government.

- Families across Florida could lose their health insurance through a quirk in the Affordable Care Act.

It's not surprising that some people look at this mess and say, "I told you so". "With the incentive to spend less, many states will have to restrict eligibility and benefits". They cheered Ohio Gov. John Kasich's decision to expand Medicaid in 2013, noting that the percentage of uninsured people here in Highland County was higher than the state average and that the costs of treating them were driving up costs for everyone else. However, we also feel a responsibility to make this case in a civil, dignified manner that respects legitimate differences of opinion about health care policy in America.



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