The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Trump Administration’s answer to repealing & replacing Obamacare, is set to be voted on again by the house. Voting could begin as early as tomorrow, April 28th.
Portions of the Act have been amended, but serious cuts to Medicaid remain a part of the bill. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 74 million Americans are currently on Medicaid, millions of whom are low-income elderly adults requiring nursing home or home health services. Medicaid is a lifeline for low income Americans requiring this type of long term care, as Medicare does not currently cover these services.
The AHCA would implement a federal cap that limits the amount of dollars given to states for Medicaid. The cap would be per capita, meaning the ultimate dollar amount would be the same for each person, giving no consideration to the varying needs of each Medicaid recipient. If states are expected to kick in extra money to cover shortfalls in federal funding, the impact could be disastrous. States would either have to limit what Medicaid costs they can help cover or take money from other areas of their budget, potentially causing a cascade of other problems and budget shortfalls.
Ultimately, capping Medicaid by voting in favor of the AHCA will lead to millions of elderly Americans that rely on Medicaid to have access to less services. Less federal money available for reimbursement of physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes means fewer health care workers and nursing homes willing to treat and house patients and residents.
The bill will also drastically cut the coverage for services, translating to increased out of pocket expenses, a burden that most receiving Medicaid are unable to shoulder. The financial pressure this would put on the elderly and their loved ones would be enormous.
Please, contact your congressmen/women to let them know that you do not support the AHCA. It’s not too late to make a difference. Please click here to contact your Representative and Senators. It will initiate an automated call that will look up your Representative and Senators by zip code and directly connect you to their office.