In a carefully restrained manner, two professors of health care and one professor of economics detail the unspeakable cruelty and suffering to be inflicted on older Americans as well as the poor if the House Republican “health care” plan is passed by the Senate and if Trump’s budget is passed by Congress (“You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid,” New York Times, June 13). Major findings:
The “health care” act originally approved by President Trump that passed the House and is now being debated in the Senate would reduce spending on Medicaid by over $800 billion, the largest spending reduction in a social insurance program in U.S. history. Trump’s budget would slash Medicaid by over $600 billion. The two combined slash Medicaid spending by almost 50%.
Medicaid is not just for the poor. Contrary to popular misconceptions roughly 1 in 3 people now turning 65 will require nursing home care and over three-quarters of long-stay nursing home residents will eventually be covered by Medicaid. Two-thirds of all Medicaid spending is for older and disabled adults mainly for long term care such as nursing homes.
As a result of the almost 50 percent cut in Medicaid spending, many nursing homes would stop admitting Medicaid recipients as well as those (the vast majority) who do not have enough assets to ensure they will not end up on Medicaid.
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Lower Medicaid nursing home reimbursements will likely ensue leading to staff reductions inflicting more pain and suffering on patients.
The U.S. Senate very soon is scheduled to vote on their version of the American Health Care Act (TrumpNoCare). A “Vote No” to any health care bill that cuts or caps Medicaid is a message our senators need to hear along with a plea to reject TrumpNoCare and any bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act.