Cuts to Medicaid and thousands more uninsured lead to hospitals closing

July 13, 2017 at 5:21 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

The Congressional Budget Office (cbo.gov/topics/health-care) estimates the Senate healthcare bill, HR1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. It would reduce direct spending by about $1 trillion and revenues by $701 billion. It would cut Medicaid by $880 billion. (Alex Lawson and Linda Benesch, huffingtonpost.com, Mar. 16, 2017)

Texas Medicaid covers over four million people: one-half of Texas children and two-thirds of those in nursing homes (hhs.texas.gov/services/health/medicaid). These include hard working people who have exhausted personal resources. They include children whose parents work but cannot meet the staggering costs for special needs children, children who require constant therapy and frequent hospitalization.

June 15, Sabriya Rice (dallasmorningnews.com) quoted George Washington University projections that the House version of the bill would result in the loss of 40,000 jobs in the Texas health care sector by 2026. Bill Hanna wrote in the Nov. 25, 2016 online edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram that Texas lost 15 rural hospitals in the past four years. According to Texas Hospital Association president/CEO Ted Shaw, writing in the Midland Reporter-Telegram on Oct. 19, 2016, Texas hospitals spend $5 billion each year caring for the uninsured.

With cuts to Medicaid and additional thousands uninsured, how many more Texas hospitals will be at risk?

Lois Weiss, Hallettsville


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