In the midst of the fight to repeal or protect the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Congressional Republicans have turned a quiet battle over Medicaid into an open brawl. Their proposal last week to gut Medicaid as we know it would put the healthcare of more than 70 million Americans at risk. The newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, has joined with members of Congress in proposing these major cuts and changes, including using damaging block grants and threatening assistance provided for over half of the births in the U.S..
Paul Ryan, Tom Price and Donald Trump would have you believe that Medicaid is a vastly inefficient clunker, despite the fact that costs have increased per patient 3% below cost increases for patients enrolled in private health care and that projected costs for the next decade have fallen nearly 10% due to efficiencies. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Medicaid provides more comprehensive benefits than private insurance at significantly lower out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries, but its lower payment rates to health care providers and lower administrative costs make the program very efficient.”
The truth is that Medicaid is a critical support for more than 70 million families, especially those who are caring for children, have aging parents, or have family members with disabilities. This includes the 30 million poor children currently enrolled in Medicaid, as well as middle-income families who become “medically needy” because of the costs of having a child with a serious disability like autism or Down syndrome. Medicaid covers crucial childhood vaccinations and provides assistance for over half of the births in the U.S.. Medicaid provides nursing home care and other types of care for the elderly and those with disabilities. Medicaid provides funding for medical services critical to keeping hospitals open and assistance to anyone from any walk of life who experiences serious medical need in order to help them avoid bankruptcy from medical debt.
The reality of an America without Medicaid? Reduced availability of critical and emergent care due to hospital closures, disease outbreaks from lack of vaccinations, millions of children without healthcare, dramatic increase of personal bankruptcies, etc. Sound like an America you want to get sick in?
CALL TO ACTION
- Call your U.S. Representative and ask them to protect Medicaid by not supporting the proposal to gut it. While you’re at it, you can also tell them how important the ACA is to you and why you hope they will not repeal it. If you end up leaving a message, be sure to leave your full street address to be sure your call is tallied.
- Call Senators Lee and Hatch to ask them to protect Medicaid and the ACA. Why? Because About 20 million Americans, including 273,000 Utahns would lose insurance coverage immediately without the ACA. This includes people with pre-existing conditions, as well as those who have reached a total lifetime cap, such as diabetics and cancer survivors. Many more people, such as seniors who would pay high out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions, would suffer from the repeal of Medicare expansion under the ACA. Again, be sure to leave your full street address to ensure your call gets tallied.
- Sign this Moms Rising petition to your Congressional Representative asking them to protect Medicaid, trending now on our Petitions, Petitions! page.