We expect kids to suffer some bumps, bruises and cuts as they grow up. But not the kind of cuts being talked about in the new health care bill. Some believe these cuts will be devastating to children.
Although the fate of the Republican House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is still unclear, a new analysis says children’s hospitals will face massive funding cuts under the legislation and may have to change their care models to survive.
The American Health Care Act cuts state budgets by more than $800 billion over 10 years, and children who rely on Medicaid could see their healthcare cut by tens of billions of dollars, according to the Children’s Hospital Association. “Other changes contained in the bill would make the healthcare system worse for children, not better,” it said in an announcement.
According to a story on Forbes.com, “The nation’s children’s hospitals may see a harsh reduction in funding and reduced care for their patients should the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, replace the Affordable Care Act, new analyses show.”
The report Forbes is citing is from the Chartis Group, which wrote:
“….the sheer magnitude of expected funding cuts, coupled with the shift in responsibility to states that will exhibit variability in how they respond, increase the likelihood of consequences for children who need care.”
The report points out that of the 74.5 million Medicaid and CHIP enrollees nationwide, 35.9 million are children. “Assuming they will not change their patient bases sufficiently to compensate for potential Medicaid reductions, children’s hospitals will need to evolve their care models,” the researchers wrote.
This could be particularly troubling in our state since the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) reports that Arizona is one of several states that will run out of CHIP funding by December of this year if Congress does not reauthorize the money for the program.
A recent USA Today story featured an Arizona mom whose 19 month old son needs a heart transplant and her concerns about whether the new health care legislation will allow him to get the special care he needs. Dana Wolfe Naimark, CEO of Children’s Action Alliance in Phoenix, is quoted in the story as saying –
“We are asking Congress to focus on this and make sure that kids don’t get lost in the shuffle of all the fighting that is going on. We are extremely concerned on the impact on kids. Everything is at risk.”
Share your thoughts on how children in our state may be affected by the new health care legislation. If you could speak to our congressional delegation…..what would you tell them? Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!