Proposed Medicaid cuts slice deep

1 in 5 county residents would lose coverage

Elaine Ezerins

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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‘The block grants and the cuts they’re looking at are a very scary thought.’

- Coleen Kohaut, owner Franklin County Rehab Center

ST. ALBANS — In Franklin County alone, 10,240 Medicaid enrollees would lose benefits and coverage under the proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill, according to The Century Foundation.

This amounts to one in five county residents, using 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data.

Locally, health care providers are expressing concern about the impacts of cuts proposed by Republicans in Congress. “My worry is that we’re going to go back in time,” said Janet McCarthy, executive director of Franklin County Home Health.

After writing the proposal behind closed doors, a group of Republican senators unveiled a draft health care bill Thursday afternoon, referred to as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would overhaul the ACA and make deep cuts to Medicaid.

Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program that provides health coverage to one in five Americans, including children, pregnant women, seniors and individuals with disabilities.

The Senate bill resembles in many ways the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which cuts Medicaid by $834 billion over a decade, with a loss of 14 million beneficiaries nationwide, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The American Health Care Act was passed in May.

“For weeks, [Senate] Republicans have been drafting their ‘health care’ bill in secret, refusing to hold hearings or public debate,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a written statement. “Now we know why. The bill Republicans announced today is even worse than expected and by far the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime.”

For more on how the proposed Medicaid cuts would impact local patients and health care providers, pick up a copy of the weekend Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.

 

  • Dawn Myers-Boden

    How many are going to loose their coverage under the current program. A lot more!

  • Leisa Rose Rocheleau

    Medicaid is given much to freely to those able to work and those that actually need it are the ones that often suffer first. STOP giving Medicaid to teenagers having babies (multiple babies in a lot of cases) the welfare cycle will never stop as long as people that are lazy and/or irresponsible are using the system that was meant to be a hand up not a life style!

    • Dawn Myers-Boden

      AMEN! It’s not a right for life