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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Republican reality check: job losses & uncompensated care is immoral in ACA repeal

Republicans are well aware of the right and ethical replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare". It's an excellent program already working and ready to go called "Medicare for All". This program simply calls for expansion of those eligible for the Medicare benefit to those who are under 65 years old.

Nevertheless, the Republicans are "hell bent" (as Senator Angus King-I-Me, rightly says) to repeal Obamacare without any consideration about the consequences. Thirty million people will be forced, against their will and through no fault of their own, to be without health insurance coverage.
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Senator Angus King speaks with staff at Bridgton Maine hospital 

Moreover, Obamacare repeal means health care providers will be forced to deny access to people who cannot pay because, frankly, hospitals and other professionals cannot absorb revenue losses by providing uncompensated care. 

Senator Angus King was interviewed while visiting the Bridgton Hospital in rural Western Maine. Consequences about Obamacare repeal will harm small hospitals because patients will loose access to care and cause reduction in labor force, due to loss of revenues.

BRIDGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER-6) — The U.S. House followed the Senate's lead Friday afternoon and voted along party lines to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Angus King met with doctors, nurses and administrators Friday morning at Bridgton Hospital to hear from those on the front lines of health care — how repealing the ACA would impact rural hospitals in Maine.

Bridgton Hospital President David Frum told Sen. King that 8 percent of the hospital's patients have insurance through the ACA, and that if those people lose their insurance, it will mean a major loss of revenue and force the hospital to make cuts in services and likely jobs.

"You would likely be looking at a workforce reduction," Frum said, "and we are the largest employer in Bridgton."

Frum said rural Maine hospitals are looking at a "double-whammy" with the possible repeal of the ACA and proposed cuts outlined in Gov. LePage's budget. If both come to pass, he predicts some rural Maine hospitals could be forced to close.


Doctors told King that repealing the law without a replacement could mean fewer people getting preventative care — like vaccinations or cancer screenings.

King says he will take the information he heard Friday back to Washington as the political process to dismantle the ACA moves through Congress.

"Why don't we hold off on repeal until we do the replacement?" King said. "To me, it's so logical. I don't know how you argue against it?" (Especially when a replacement plan named "Medicare for All" is ready to go today, if Congress would permit beneficiaries who qualify to access their Medicare coverage before reaching age 65.) In fact, private insurance isn't really needed because, truth be told, Americans can greatly benefit from implementing Medicare for All. So, "the rest of the story" is this: the reason Medicare for All isn't viable has nothing to do with health care policy but everything to do with the powerful insurance lobby.

Speaker Paul Ryan alert!

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