Devastating GOP Health Repeal, What we know

Curt Zickafoose Blog

 

Fight Far From Over: Millions of Americans Would Suffer Under Senate Health Repeal

While Senate Republicans may have delayed votes on their health care repeal bill, the fight to defeat this disastrous legislation is far from over. This bill is unconscionably cruel and would hurt millions of Americans across the country, including American workers, women, children, older Americans and middle class families, all while the wealthiest Americans cash in from big tax breaks.

Here is a look at a few of the ways the American people will suffer under the Senate bill:

BOTTOM LINE: By kicking 22 million Americans off their health insurance by 2026, the Senate bill would drive the uninsured rate up to 18% and average marketplace premiums will increase by 20% next year, before they ultimately decline as plans get skimpier and out of pocket costs increase.

AMERICAN WORKERS: By next year, 4 million working Americans could lose coverage from their employer, and cuts to Medicaid could threaten jobs at health care facilities.

OLDER AND RURAL AMERICANS: According to the CBO, some older Americans could see their premiums triple under the Senate bill.

LOW AND MIDDLE-INCOME AMERICANS: 15 million fewer Americans would be covered under Medicaid by 2026 and people who make a little over $42,ooo a year would no longer have their premium payments capped at 9.7% of their income, and many working Americans would not be able to afford it at all.

SICK AMERICANS: According to the CBO, half of Americans live in states that would scale back essential health benefits, which cover common treatments and services like maternity care, prescription drugs and substance abuse treatment.

WOMEN: By defunding Planned Parenthood, the Senate bill would leave 15% of the organization’s patients without access to care and trigger a costly spike in unplanned pregnancies that would ultimatelyincrease Medicaid spending by $79 million.

CHILDREN: The Senate bill threatens children’s access to vital health services such as immunizations and vision, dental and hearing services.

WEALTHY AMERICANS: The wealthiest Americans would cash in under the Senate bill, with those earning $5 million or more per year getting a tax cut of almost $250,000.


WVDP CHAIR ON GOP DELAY OF  HEALTHCARE REPEAL VOTE & CAPITO OPPOSITION
 
(Charleston, WV)- WVDP Chairwoman Belinda Biafore released the following statement on GOP’s health care vote delay and Sen. Capito’s opposition to the bill:
 
It’s clear that the GOP is having trouble finding enough support to strip Americans and West Virginians of their healthcare coverage. But make no mistake, they will find a way to continue their attack on our health care,” said Belinda Biafore, WVDP Chair. 
 
“The delay of the vote until after the July 4th holiday is nothing more than the GOP giving themselves and Trump time to lobby for more support. They aren’t worried about us. They aren’t worried about children, seniors, and families they are taking health care from. They are worried about themselves and their political loyalties. 
 
“I encourage everyone to keep calling Senator Shelley Moore Capito to continue sharing their stories.  I know a lot of West Virginians are hopeful that she will continue her stance against the disastrous Senate health care bill that hurts so many here at home. Folks have been visiting her office and calling in hopes that they can make a difference so that their families will not lose their coverage. This is a win for them and I hope for the people of West Virginia that she stays true to her word and stops the attack on the health care of our fellow West Virginians. ” 
 
###

Pressure Builds on Republican Senators to Vote NO on Dangerous Health Care Repeal Bill

The pressure continues mounting on Republican senators across the country to vote against the dangerous repeal bill that would strip 22 million Americans of health care – all in order to give giant tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy. Republicans Senators are feeling the heat in their home states, so much so that Senate Majority Leader McConnell has been forced to delay a vote until after the July 4th recess.

With the CBO’s confirmation that the GOP health care repeal bill is a disaster, it is clear that this bill hurts everyone from women and children, to middle-class families and older Americans, to people with pre-existing conditions and veterans.

Here are some of the headlines Republican senators are reading today:

 

OHIO

NPR: After Decline Of Steel And Coal, Ohio Fears Health Care Jobs Are Next

“1 in 4 private sector jobs in the county are now in health care. The region’s biggest employer by far is the local hospital. Trinity Health System provides about 1,500 full-time jobs and close to 500 part-time jobs, more than Jefferson County’s top 10 manufacturing companies combined.

“Still, unemployment in Jefferson County stands at 7 percent, 2 percent higher than the state overall. And health care leaders worry that the Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could take many health care jobs away.

“Specifically, they’re concerned about the rollback of Medicaid that is central to both the House and Senate bills. Ohio was among the states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, adding 700,000 additional low-income or disabled people to the rolls.”

Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati hospitals tell workers: Speak out against ACA repeal in Senate

“At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, president and CEO Michael Fisher urged employees Monday to contact elected representatives and to campaign through social media against the Senate bill as harmful to children. Cincinnati Children’s is the 11th largest employer in Ohio and the second largest in the Cincinnati region, with more than 15,000 workers.

“‘We do not believe this legislation, as written, will meet the health needs of all kids,’ Fisher’s letter said. ‘Because kids don’t vote, they often don’t have a voice in politics. They rely on us to speak up for them.’”

Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Healthcare reform could stifle growth of Ohio community health centers

“At Neighborhood Family Practice, an FQHC on Cleveland’s West Side, for example, the center might have received something like $10 before the ACA for caring for an uninsured person, but now gets $100 for providing that care, according to Jean Polster, NFP president and CEO.

“‘It created a financial stability model for us where we could take risks and do this level of expansion,’ Polster said.”

 

WCPN: Three Northeast Ohio Hospitals Come Out Against Senate Health Care Bill

“Three Northeast Ohio hospitals say they oppose the Senate’s healthcare bill introduced by Republicans last week.

“The Congressional Budget Office projects that 22 million people will lose coverage if the bill rolling back the Affordable Care Act passes. Cliff Deveny, interim CEO of Summa Health in Akron, says Obamacare helped 45,000 people in the Akron area get coverage.

“‘What we want to see is that they continue to access physician offices, get preventative care and improve their situation,’ he said, ‘and not push them back to a situation where they’re getting their care in the emergency room.’”

 

WEST VIRGINIA

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Six arrested in Capito’s office after day of protesting health care bill

“Because West Virginia expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, 172,605 citizens receive health care, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Long-term funding for Medicaid is under threat from the new bill. Citizens are hoping this will lead to Capito joining a slowly growing number of Republican senators who have said they won’t vote for the bill as is.

“One woman at the rally, Barbara Schau, has worked as a nurse for 40 years. She said the bill has several problems. Chief among them for West Virginia, she said, is that rural hospitals depend on Medicaid reimbursements to stay in business and, when Medicaid funding is reduced, they might not be able to stay open.

“She also said there are issues with taking away health care from poor citizens who rely on Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“‘They’re taking away basic health coverage from the poorest of our population,’ she said. ‘It’s a sin, it’s nothing less than a sin.’”

100 Days in Appalachia: With rallies, sit-ins and arrests, West Virginia becomes a flashpoint in the debate over health care

“As the debate over proposed legislation on health care heats up, West Virginia has been a flashpoint of opposition to a Republican-lead plan — with protests, rallies and sit-ins. With a high population of low-income residents, the increased grip of the opioid crisis and the fate of 184,100 Medicaid enrollees who would lose coverage under the GOP health care bill in West Virginia, the state serves as a go-to example for explaining what the plan might mean for the rest of America.

“According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score released Monday, 15 million fewer Americans will be insured next year under the bill. That number is expected to reach 22 million by 2026 – about a million fewer than a similar plan proposed by the House of Representatives….

“‘If either version passes, the effects will have a crippling impact on communities all throughout our great state,’ said Josh Sword of the West Virginia American Federation of Labor.

“Sword was referring to versions of the health care overhaul that have recently been drafted by the House and Senate, respectively.

“‘Hospitals, drug treatment facilities and countless other specialized care providers will have to close their doors due to the loss of federal funding to the system,’ Sword said.”

ARIZONA

AZ Central: Senate health bill will ‘blow a hole’ in Arizona budget, business leaders say

“In Arizona, hospital and health leaders are particularly worried about the proposed reductions to the Medicaid program, which provides coverage for about one in five people in this state.

“‘One of our tenets has been, if you are going to replace the ACA, you cannot increase the number of uninsured,’ said Steve Purves, CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System.

“Purves said Maricopa, which serves as the region’s main safety-net hospital system, would see a direct increase of $55 million to $75 million in uncompensated care should the Senate bill pass Congress.

“Purves said Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has allowed his health system and other hospitals to emphasize preventive care, in which insured patients get regular care to better manage chronic health conditions. If the Medicaid expansion is rolled back, Purves predicts more patients will lose their health insurance, delay preventive health care and seek emergency care when their health worsens.”

The Daily Courier: Senate health care bill could cost Arizona $7.1 billion

“The new Senate health care plan would cost Arizona at least $2.9 billion between next year and 2026 — and perhaps as much as $7.1 billion —according to a new analysis by the Ducey administration.”

“Or the state could avoid most of those costs simply by cutting off health care for more than 400,000 who got coverage in 2013 when Arizona took advantage of a provision in the Affordable Care Act — the very law Congress is working to repeal.”

Associated Press: Arizona hospitals: Health bill devastating

“The association representing Arizona’s hospitals says the Senate bill repealing much of the Affordable Care Act would be devastating to millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid for their care.”

“The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association issued a statement after Thursday’s release of the Senate bill saying it has been calling on leaders in Washington for months to find a workable replacement. It called the version passed by the House last month “a categorical failure” and said the Senate version is “equally troubling.”

“The group says the more gradual phase-out of Medicaid expansion now covering 400,000 Arizonans gives states more time to adjust. But that still will cause a “massive shift” of financial risk from the federal government to states, health care providers and patients.”

TEXAS

Texas Public Radio: Hill Country Healthcare Protest A Display Of Frustration

“This weekend, a choir called ‘The Impeaches’ took center stage at the main square. The vocal crowd of about 200 was a mix of men and women, old and young — all gathered against the Republican plan to change the ACA. One of them was Jane Crone, 73.

“’We just have to make our voices heard,’ Crone stated. ‘What’s going on is not in the best interest of the majority of Americans.’

“They waved handmade signs with provocative messages. One senior’s note read ‘Now you’ve pissed off Grandma.’ The bill’s cuts to Medicaid threaten the 65 percent of people in nursing homes supported by Medicaid.”

KRISTV: CHRISTUS Health opposes plans to replace ACA

“The largest health care system has come out against plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. Christus Health System says that they fear many Texans will lose coverage over the proposed Senate or House version of the new health care bill.”

NEVADA

The Nevada Independent: Nevada school districts outline concerns with Republican health care bill in letters to Cortez Masto

“The superintendents of the three school districts — Nye, Washoe and Clark — outlined the way in which Medicaid funding helps them provide services to students with disabilities, offer vision, hearing and mental health screenings to children and pay for staff members, including nurses, counselors and therapists. The block-grant structure proposed in the health care bill would result in reduced funding for the state, harming the ability of school districts to provide medically necessary services, the superintendents wrote.”

 

Senate Health Repeal Hurts Middle-Class Families

Here is a look at some of the ways this bill would hurt middle-class families:

Premiums could spike for middle-class families who would no longer be able to obtain subsidies under the Senate GOP’s healthcare repeal.

NBC News: “Billions of dollars in federal subsidies that have reduce out-of-pocket expenses for over six million patients under Obamacare would be repealed by 2019 under the Senate health plan that was unveiled on Thursday. That alone would send premiums shooting up by double digits for many, according to insurers’ proposals submitted in expectation of the subsidies being eliminated. Hardest hit will be millions of middle-income earners who make too much to qualify for premium assistance and will have to bear the full impact of any rate hikes.”

Medicaid cuts in the Senate GOP’s healthcare repeal would put rural hospitals at risk, which could then hurt local jobs, property values and even schools.

CNN Money: “Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the country, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing. These hospitals serve a largely older, poorer and sicker population than most hospitals, making them particularly vulnerable to changes made to Medicaid funding. […] And a rural hospital closure goes beyond people losing health care. Jobs, property values and even schools can suffer.”

The Senate GOP’s healthcare repeal could drive up premiums for small businesses and put consumers at risk by reversing protections, including the requirement to cover essential health benefits.

Vox: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act, one health insurance industry source warned in a private email obtained by Vox, would ‘cause most small employers’ premiums to go up” and “leave consumers at risk.’ […] The section of the law in question is one that, so far, has gotten little attention. The language is complex, but multiple experts who have reviewed the section believe it would reverse key consumer protections in small business health plans — including the requirement to cover essential health benefits — and take away regulatory power from the states, and potentially push up costs for small businesses whose workers are not overwhelmingly young and healthy.”

Under GOP repeal, Medicaid expansion states will likely experience more severe jobs losses and deeper economic declines, though nonexpansion states would see substantial losses as well.

The Gazette: “That’s according to a new report out Wednesday by George Washington University and the Commonwealth Fund … What’s more, states that expanded Medicaid, such as Iowa, are likely to experience more severe job losses and deeper economic declines, though nonexpansion states would see substantial losses as well.”

Medicaid cuts in the Senate GOP’s healthcare repeal would hurt upper-middle class nursing home residents.

New York Times: HEADLINE: “At Nursing Homes, Cuts To Medicaid Would Affect Even Upper-Middle Class.”

New York Times: “Conservatives hope to roll back what they see as an expanding and costly health care entitlement. But little has been said about what would happen to older Americans in nursing homes if these cuts took effect. Under federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to cover nursing home care. But state officials decide how much to pay facilities, and states under budgetary pressure could decrease the amount they are willing to pay or restrict eligibility for coverage.”

 


 

Americans Know How Devastating Health Repeal Will Be

Republican Senators have been negotiating the repeal of the Affordable Care Act behind closed doors to try and shield their bill from the public. Republicans are falsely saying that the Affordable Care Act in 2009 was legislated in similar fashion.

Politifact: “Scholars of Congress say the comparison between then and now is stark. In crafting the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats held extensive hearings and markups with opportunities for Republican amendments. The Democratic leadership also negotiated extensively with outside stakeholders, said Marquette University political scientist Philip Rocco.”

Why are Republicans working in secret? Because they know that Americans across the country overwhelmingly oppose Trump and Republicans’ efforts to take their health care away.

Politico: “Poll: Opposition to GOP health bill is on the rise”

CBS News: “Meanwhile, most Americans would prefer that Congress improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it, including half of Republicans who don’t want it repealed entirely.”

The majority of Americans do not support health care repeal because they understand how devastating it would for Americans across the country, including tens of millions of Medicaid recipients.

New York Times: “Tucked inside the Republican bill to replace Obamacare is a plan to impose a radical diet on a 52-year-old program that insures nearly one in five Americans. The bill, of course, would modify changes to the health system brought by the Affordable Care Act. But it would also permanently restructure Medicaid, which covers tens of millions of poor or disabled Americans, including millions who are living in nursing homes with conditions like Alzheimer’s or the aftereffects of a stroke.”

With today’s filing deadline and uncertainty created by Trump and Republicans, some health insurers have had to pull out of insurance markets and others have been forced to raise premiums.

New York Times: “Health insurers are scrambling to decide whether to stay or go by Wednesday’s deadline to file plans for the federal marketplace. Several major companies have already left some states, while others are threatening to leave. […] Premiums are also likely to be higher, according to Avalere, which analyzed filings in eight states. Insurers are seeking an 18 percent increase, on average, for the most popular so-called silver plans.”

Bloomberg: “Anthem will quit the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance markets in Wisconsin and its home state of Indiana, the company said in a statement Wednesday. It blamed the volatile state of the markets, which have seen many plans come and go, as well as a lack of stability being offered by Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s administration in Washington.”

It’s clear that Republicans are willing to go through great lengths to give big tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of vulnerable Americans.

New York Times Editorial: “The House bill, the American Health Care Act, would rob 23 million people of health insurance and make it harder for millions of others to get the care they need, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It would cut federal spending by about $1.1 trillion over 10 years while giving the wealthy big tax cuts. Those numbers might be somewhat different for the Senate bill but, according to experts, not by much.”


What We Know About The Senate GOP’s Health CareRepeal

  1. The bill is going to hurt people with pre-existing conditions. The bill will allow insurers to offer watered down plans by allowing states to opt out of providing essential health benefits, which cover services like maternity care, substance abuse treatment and mental health care, as well as other provisions that guarantee quality coverage.

 

  1. Millions of people are going to lose coverage. The bill puts an end to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and makes even deeper program cuts than the House version, which will be devastating for rural and low-income Americans, the elderly and people with disabilities.

 

  1. The bill will hurt the middle class.  The Republican bill will reduce subsidies and tax credits that currently help working Americans afford their premiums.

 

  1. People’s deductibles and co-pays will go up.  The Republican bill will provide people with skimpier plans with fewer protections, which will cause many people to pay more out of pocket for their insurance coverage.

 

  1. This is all a big tax cut for the rich. The Republican bill gives billions in tax breaks to the wealthy and special interests, including health insurance companies that pay their CEOs over $500,000.