Louisiana senator’s bill ‘uniquely and disproportionally hurts Louisiana’

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy’s name is on the latest Republican attempt to strip health coverage from millions of people by repealing Obamacare. If you’re thinking that means Louisiana might somehow be protected from the worst Graham-Cassidy has to offer, think again. The state’s health secretary, Rebekah Gee, has written a letter to Cassidy explaining how the bill “uniquely and disproportionally hurts Louisiana.”

That unique harm is “due to our expansion and high burden of extreme poverty.” Because Louisiana only took advantage of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion last year, Graham-Cassidy’s funding formula would be based on that first year, when “we were still ramping up enrollment.” The state’s extreme poverty is such that many of Cassidy’s constituents wouldn’t be counted because they fall below his bill’s funding formula, which counts people between 50 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The effect of all this, Gee writes, is

Continue reading “Louisiana senator’s bill ‘uniquely and disproportionally hurts Louisiana’”

The Senate Trumpcare bill could leave many veterans with no health care

This is a timely new study for all those patriotic, veteran-loving Republican senators who might be tempted to support another vote on Obamacare repeal: it would leave many veterans uninsured and put additional strain on the VA medical system.

In 2013, while the Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010 was still being implemented, 9.1 percent of veterans under 65 were uninsured. That fell to 5.8 percent by 2015—a drop attributed to Medicaid enrollment facilitated by the ACA. A repeal would reverse those gains, and the recently proposed GOP policy would lead to more veterans losing insurance than gained coverage under the ACA, according to the study by policy researcher Rand Corp.
Some of those veterans would turn to the VA for health care, adding stress to those facilities, said Michael Dworsky, a Rand economist and the study’s lead author.

“There may be concern over the spillover effects

Continue reading “The Senate Trumpcare bill could leave many veterans with no health care”

GOP’s new health care repeal bill even worse than the last one, yet it’s gaining steam

It’s still hard to believe that we’re doing this drill again, but we are and the stakes are even higher. In fact, the bill authored by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham threatens to throw more people off health care than the last attempt did, writes Washington Post reporter Paige Cunningham.

The latest Obamacare overhaul bill gaining steam on Capitol Hill slashes health-care spending more deeply and would likely cover fewer people than a July bill that failed precisely because of such concerns. What’s different now is the sense of urgency senators are bringing to their effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act, with only a dozen days remaining before the legislative vehicle they’re using expires. […]

Worries over steep Medicaid cuts and how many people could potentially lose protections or their health coverage altogether drove the GOP effort into a ditch at the end of July, when

Continue reading “GOP’s new health care repeal bill even worse than the last one, yet it’s gaining steam”

Planned Parenthood, Medicaid on the chopping block again with the Republicans’ latest Trumpcare push

There isn’t a Congressional Budget Office score that tells us how much the latest Trumpcare bill the Senate is flirting with will cut from Medicaid, but earlier estimates peg the cuts at $180 billion over ten years, increasing rapidly over time and reaching more than $40 billion annually by 2026.

Here’s what the Medicaid provisions in the bill look like, via the Health Affairs blog:

The principal federal Medicaid funding reduction provisions included in the new proposal are:

Scare tactics, Lindsey Graham-style: Repeal Obamacare or else ‘Bernie-Care’ is coming

Sen. Lindsey Graham tried to make a name for himself as a bit of a debate comedian during the Republican presidential primary, but he doesn’t seem to be joking with this effort to arm-twist Senate Republicans into voting for Graham-Cassidy, his last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare:

“This is not about repealing and replacing Obamacare. This is about stopping a march towards socialism… this is the last best chance we will have to act and end Obamacare and stop Bernie-Care.”

Um. It’s not about repealing Obamacare, but it’s the last best chance to end Obamacare. And somehow, not ending (but not repealing and replacing) Obamacare would mean “a march towards socialism” and “Bernie-Care.” And “If you’re not for this, then you really got to wonder whether or not you’re a Republican.” You can see what Graham means: here’s a bill that will slash Medicaid funding and healthcare subsidies

Continue reading “Scare tactics, Lindsey Graham-style: Repeal Obamacare or else ‘Bernie-Care’ is coming”

AARP and doctors’ groups oppose latest Republican health care plan, but it’s not dead yet

Doctors’ groups are against the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare and gut health care, writing that “The proposal fails to protect the health care coverage and consumer protections available under current law.” Public hospitals are against it. Planned Parenthood is against it, calling it “especially terrible for women.” The AARP is against it, bluntly tweeting that “it’s a bad plan.” But Senate Republicans are still trying to get the votes to pass Graham-Cassidy, and that should make us all nervous. Specifically, it should make us all nervous in a calling-our-senators-and-taking-action-every-way-we-know-how way:

Indivisible’s policy director Angel Padilla told TPM that even if the GOP’s senators’ trumpeting of the bill’s chances turns out to be “a big headfake,” he wants to make sure he and other activists did all they could to oppose it.

“Earlier this summer, the Senate tried and failed in an embarrassing way. They want to avoid

Continue reading “AARP and doctors’ groups oppose latest Republican health care plan, but it’s not dead yet”

Wave good-bye to your pre-existing condition protections under new Trumpcare bill

Remember when Republicans were going to keep all of the protections in the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing health conditions, even while they were going to repeal it? Slowly, surely, that promise faded away through every iteration of Trumpcare and Zombie Trumpcare that emerged. With the latest one Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are trying to jam through, they’re not even pretending anymore. This bill would “give states broad waiver authority to eliminate the ACA’s core protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.”

These waivers would come on top of the proposal’s elimination of the ACA’s marketplace subsidies and Medicaid expansion, its radical restructuring of the rest of the Medicaid program, and its large cuts to total federal funding for health insurance coverage.

Specifically, a little-noticed provision of the block grant funding states would receive under the plan would let them obtain waivers of ACA pre-existing conditions

Continue reading “Wave good-bye to your pre-existing condition protections under new Trumpcare bill”