Let's admit health care is a tough issue

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Having long decried the failings of the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans are purporting to fix one of its loopholes with their newly unveiled health plan.

A major sticking point for pro-life groups and the US bishops was Hyde Amendment-language protecting taxpayer subsidies from being used to pay for abortions.

This could happen because the language might be determined to be not pertaining to the rules of budget reconciliation. It is expected the Senate will take up the measure on the floor during the week of June 26.

Network, Bread for the World and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are part of the Interfaith Healthcare Coalition, which also includes as members the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness; the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism; the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative; the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries; and the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

The bill would allow children to stay on their parents' health plans to age 26. Both the House and Senate bill would do away with this and fill the gap by scaling back Medicaid.

Altogether, some 191,100 Iowans - 38.1 percent of the nonelderly adult enrollees now served - could lose Medicaid under the House plan, according to new analysis by the Urban Institute.[1] This would make Iowa one of the biggest losers nationally, as only 11 states have greater shares of their Medicaid enrollees in jeopardy of losing coverage. "Such a health care system must protect conscience rights, as well as extend to immigrant families".

Most (55%) of the public holds an unfavorable view of the Republican plan, while 30 percent hold a favorable one.

As reported here before Iowa is a filial responsibility state.

"Learning about the proposed deep cuts in Medicaid passed by the House of Representatives, the American people looked to the Senate".

Insurers have been largely quiet since the Senate Republicans released their version of the bill on Thursday morning.

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Bishop Dewane echoed those concerns that the pro-life language could be stripped from the bill. Mr. Whitlock thinks the bill's changes in 2020 to allow insurers to offer plans with less generous coverage could lead to policies with "almost assuredly five digit" deductibles - $10,000 or more. These changes will wreak havoc on low-income families and struggling communities, and must not be supported.

The "per-capita cap" on Medicaid dollars to states would limit Medicaid funding based on the populations of the states themselves, "and then connects yearly increases to formulas that would provide even less to those in need than the House bill", the bishop stated.

"This bill is a crass political calculation carried out by 13 white, male senators who are out of touch with the realities of millions of ordinary families in every state", she said.

On Friday, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said the Senate bill is "a tax cut bill paid for by slashing Medicaid".

The AHCA would fundamentally change Medicaid in two ways. In a recent poll, Americans overwhelmingly - 95 percent- wanted health insurance companies to cover emergency medical carei.

The changes are likely to result in fewer people being covered, and those people could be much sicker, said Dr. Stephen Ondra, a former insurance executive who worked under the Obama administration. "It fails, as well, to put in place conscience protections for all those involved in the health care system, protections which are needed more than ever in our country's health policy".

For instance, the bill could set up conscience protections for religious organizations that refuse to comply with previous mandates that coverage for sterilizations and contraceptives be provided in their employee health plans, the bishop noted.

Senator McConnell (so my musing went) was going to step up to the microphone and announce that the very first item on their version of the AHCA would be to abolish Congress' Cadillac/ Rolls-Royce/ Dom Perignon lifetime health-care coverage and replace it with the new AHCA's provisions that, if the bill wins final approval, will be available to Americans at large. Or doctors who conscientiously refuse to perform abortions or gender-transition procedures could be protected against federal or state mandates that they do so. Moreover, instead of fixing the problems with Iowa's health insurance exchange, it would make those problems worse.

Did you find this article informative? Reviewing government-supported programs routinely is a good thing.

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