Vail Kozatch: Another terrible health care bill | SteamboatToday.com

Vail Kozatch: Another terrible health care bill

Just when we thought the health bill nightmare was over, it raises its ugly head again. The Graham-Cassidy bill that dismantles much of Obamacare and turns over block grants to states is the worst recent health bill yet.

It will cut coverage and raise premiums and out-of-pocket costs for millions. It eliminates programs designed to prevent injuries and illnesses. It ends Medicaid expansions and slashes Medicaid spending. It allows states to weaken protection for people with pre-existing conditions. It eliminates Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood for one year (pre-natal care, mammograms, long-acting contraceptives).

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the state of Colorado will lose $2.3 billion between 2020 and 2026. No federal funds are committed to states beyond 2026. The Center for American Progress estimates that by 2027, 468,000 fewer Coloradans would be insured.

The Colorado Hospital Association opposes this bill as do virtually ever other health care association in the United States, including The American Public Health Association and the entire insurance industry. The American Public Health Association calls this bill “devastating.” Locally, our own Northwest Colorado Health, Mindsprings Health, South Routt Medical Center, our two nursing homes and our hospital would be negatively affected.

The American Medical Association says the Graham-Cassidy Bill violates the Hippocratic Oath of “first do no harm.” Obviously, our senators have never taken this oath.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls it a “dangerous, ill-conceived policy.” The AARP says the bill would increase health care costs for older Americans, decrease coverage and threaten individuals in nursing homes.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield says the bill would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, make coverage more expensive and jeopardize choice of health plans. Planned Parenthood writes that “policy on women’s health care should not be written by a small group of male politicians behind closed doors.”

Enough is enough. Americans will pay more and get less, but women will pay the biggest price of all. Kaiser Permanente says the bill would pose major issues for state budgets.

The disapproval list goes on and on: The American Heart Association, the Association of  Medical Colleges, the HIV Medicine Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Association for Medicaid Directors, the American Hospital Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Children’s Hospital Association and the Public Health Institute. No association with credibility is in favor this bill.

What do these senators think they are doing? Why would such ill-informed people be responsible for writing a health bill of such great importance to the American people? How did our system go so awry?

Our voices need to be heard. Call or write Cory Gardner at 970-245-9553 or 202-224-5941  or garner.senare.gov/contact-cory/email-cory. Senator Bennet would never vote for this.

Vail Kozatch

Clark

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