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Local officials weigh in on healthcare plan

Jun 22, 2017 12:05 am
As Republicans in Washington D.C. are about to reveal some details of their proposed new healthcare plan, Richard Moody in the Register-Star surveys local health officials and advocates who are universally opposed to what they know of the plan. "We’re very concerned about the American Health Care Act. The majority of Columbia Memorial Hospital patients rely on government insurance programs to pay for their care — disproportionately so compared to many other hospitals — which means that policy changes can have a very real impact here in our communities," hospital spokesman William Van Slyke said. "CMH and all providers are increasingly challenged with maintaining services under a reimbursement structure that fails to cover costs or keep pace with inflationary factors." The story also quotes National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. "The correlation between a strong Medicaid program and the success of rural hospitals has become evident during the influx of rural hospital closures over the last six years," Johnson wrote in a letter to Congress. "Seventy-eight rural hospitals have closed since 2010 with over 80 percent of those located in states that opted out of the Medicaid expansion. With another 673 hospitals at risk of closure, the AHCA’s proposed Medicaid cap could have devastating consequences for rural communities." Dain Pascocello, Rep. John Faso’s chief of staff, had a different view. "The ACA is collapsing in many parts of the nation and New York has seen precipitous increases in premiums and deductibles. Standing by and doing nothing is not an alternative for Congressman Faso." Read the full story in the Register-Star.
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