HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — People who spend most of their time in hospitals fear what the future holds. Hospital workers in Wayne County met with U.S. Senator Bob Casey to go over the proposed senate health care bill.
Senator Casey says the bill’s cut to Medicaid would be devastating. More than 70 million Americans depend on its coverage; including people of all ages, from young children with disabilities to elderly people. He claims the bill undermines basic healthcare, and decimates Medicaid in ways he’s never seen before.
“If someone has Medicaid today and needs it for their healthcare, they should get it for as long as they need it,” said Casey.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey stopped by Wayne Memorial Hospital to meet with employees and discuss their concerns with the proposed senate health care bill. It’s estimated that the republican-sponsored Better Care Reconciliation Act would reduce federal deficits by 321-billion-dollars over the next 10 years. The majority of those savings comes from reductions in Medicaid.
Critics of the measure claim 22 million people would lose health care coverage by 2027, 15-million of them being cut from Medicaid.
“It’ll hurt rural hospitals like Wayne Memorial,” said Casey.
“The impact is not favorable. We sure hope the bill does not go through in its current form. It would be very damaging to this hospital and the community we serve,” said David Hoff, hospital CEO.
“Just in Wayne County alone, there are almost 10-thousand people dependent on Medicaid,” said Casey.
But Casey’s counterpart in Pennsylvania, Republican Pat Toomey, sees a problem with so many people relying on Medicaid.
“It’s an unsustainable trend,” said Toomey. “The BCRA is not perfect, but it is a positive step toward repairing the damages caused by Obamacare and putting Medicaid on a sustainable fiscal path.”
Casey disagrees and claims the plan actually helps those who need it the least.
“And all the while, they want to give a tax cut to the very wealthiest that almost equates dollar to dollar to the cut in Medicaid — that’s obscene,” said Casey.
Toomey debunks that claim saying it’s a modest change.
“Medicaid’s growth rate is unlikely to outpace the economy,” said Toomey. “It will ensure Medicaid is available for future generations.”
He adds that there will be additional changes to the bill based on feedback from senators and the public before there is a final product ready for a vote.
Casey says he will vote against the bill. If the bill is voted down, Casey hopes a new process can begin. He says he’d like to see a bipartisan effort — to sit down and address what he says are the real issues — like deductibles and co-pay costs.
Senators will be back in Washington D.C. a week from Monday on July 10.
Local hospital workers raise concerns over Senate GOP health care