"The GOP attack on Medicaid needs to be at the center of this debate because it is inexcusable and it’s largely — thanks to the scandalous, disgusting way the GOP has pushed through law through Congress — being ignored.
Here are 5 things every American needs to know now before we let this unprecedented transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest goes down.
1. There’s been no public debate about these drastic cuts to Medicaid.”
As usual, our man Andy Slavitt, who ran the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare for President Obama, puts the stakes of the GOP’s attack on our health care system in the clearest terms. Half of the people on Medicaid are children; the program pays for about half of the births in America and a similar percentage of the dollars we spend on long-term care for the aged, which leads us to point we cannot ignore.
2. An attack on Medicaid is an attack on Medicare.
Cindy Mann and Allison Orris sound an alarm that has not yet broken out of wonkdom in defense of the “11 million Medicare beneficiaries who also rely on Medicaid for key components of their care.” Yes, about 1 of 5 of the poorest Medicare beneficiaries could be hurt by Trumpcare. This could drastically reduce states’ ability to provide home care, which would drive seniors to hospitals, spiking Medicare costs and justifying Republican cries to cut Medicare spending.
3. The cuts to Medicaid would be immediate and unconscionable.
There’s no “glide path” path for cutting Medicaid. Right now the debate in the Senate has centered around how quickly to roll back Medicaid expansion to leave millions uninsured. It’s a useless debate because as soon as expansion is frozen, millions would start losing coverage fast as states feel the fiscal pinch, Dee Mahan, Director of Medicaid Initiatives at Families USA notes. “Millions who face tough economic times in the future and need Medicaid’s safety net will become uninsured,” she writes.
"These points seem to me to most clearly underline the GOP’s plot against the most vulnerable but there’s so much more including how these cuts could worsen the opioid crisis, punish the disabled and wreak havoc on special education.
Medicaid has a unique name in each state and many people aren’t even aware that they and their family have or will rely on it. STILL, it’s extraordinarily popular — with more than 8 of 10 Americans saying it’s very important for Congress to keep funding for Medicaid expansion.
But it’s not just expansion that’s at risk; it’s Medicaid as we know it. And as long as the GOP can make the Trumpcare debate about anything else, they have a chance to win it.
[If you care about understanding Medicaid, which actually is “akin to mastering rocket science,” make sure you follow Emma Sandoe.]"
Published on May 18, 2017