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Friday, July 07, 2017

Rural hospitals will close with the Republican unhealthy plan

Republican health care bill threatens small town hospitals

Letter to the Editor: Published in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

CHILTON, Wis. - I am 67 years old and I live in Chilton. 

As I grow older, our hospital, being a four-minute ambulance ride away, becomes more important to me.

Before the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), hospitals like ours were closing at an accelerated rate. Patients without insurance would show up and demand care without any means of paying for it. Medicaid did subsidize small town hospitals, but massive losses eventually led to closures.

The ACA taxes the top 1 percent of earners almost $880 billion over 10 years to bolster Medicaid. It also requires people to buy health insurance with a subsidy for those who could not afford to pay the full price. With these increases in revenue small town hospitals could balance their books.

Today, every iteration of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare eliminates the $880 billion tax for Medicaid on the wealthy, drops the requirement that everyone have health insurance and drops 23 million people from the insurance rolls. This will bring us back to a point where small town hospitals will have to close.

People who can’t get to an emergency room on time will die. People who can’t get health insurance without a subsidy will die prematurely, and the richest among us will be $880 billion richer.

If you are pro-life, how can you vote for Congressmen Mike Gallagher. He voted for all of this. Sad.
Ron Gruett, Chilton Wisconsin

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