The LuLac Edition #3446, March 9th, 2017
Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress campaigned last year on a promise to dismantle the signature domestic policy achievement of Democratic former President Barack Obama.
But they face resistance from conservatives in their own party who have condemned the bill as too similar to the law it is meant to supplant. Democrats, meanwhile, have denounced it as a gift to the wealthy that will take insurance away from millions of people.
Doctors and other providers said the bill would probably cause many patients to lose insurance and raise healthcare costs. The American Medical Association doctors’ group urged senior lawmakers in a letter to reconsider drastic changes to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor.
The AMA, which supported Obamacare, said the replacement of income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits to help people buy insurance would make coverage more expensive, if not out of reach, for poor and sick Americans.
Obamacare, formally called the Affordable Care Act, enabled 20 million previously uninsured people to obtain coverage, about half through a Medicaid expansion the new bill would end.
Insurers are worried about the affordability of the tax structure and proposed major changes in Medicaid financing.
In a letter to Congress, America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents Anthem Inc and others, indicated that was still a concern, despite many aspects of the draft that would help stabilize the individual insurance market.
Seven hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association, America’s Essential Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, also voiced opposition, writing in a letter to lawmakers that the proposal could lead to “tremendous instability” for people seeking affordable medical coverage, including children, the elderly and disabled.
Nary a doctor except for new HUD Secretary Tom Price has stood by the Republican Congress’ new plan. However Sean Spicer the President’s spokesperson said there have lot of doctors who like it!
Yeah, right. (The Globe & Mail, LuLac)
"At the top of their agenda is repealing the Affordable Care Act, including the repeal of Medicaid expansion — which nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians rely on for healthcare. In addition, 63,000 people suffering from addiction accessed drug and alcohol treatment through Medicaid. Even funding for vital treatment options in the fight against the heroin and opioid crisis isn’t safe under Trump’s plan.
I have met with people who received coverage for the first time under the Affordable Care Act and heard what it meant to them to not have to choose between insurance or paying the heating bill. I’ve held in my own arms a newborn baby suffering from heroin withdrawal. I’ve consoled daughters and sons who have lost a parent to a drug overdose. And I’ve seen the happiness of families reunited and moving forward after a loved one has completed treatment.
We cannot afford to repeal healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians or make cuts to Medicaid — especially in the wake of this public health crisis that affects so many of our friends, family members, and neighbors."
Preliminary analysis by Marc Stier, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, suggests that when the program is fully implemented, around 1 million low- and moderate- income Pennsylvanians will lose health insurance; the state budget will lose at least $2.5 to $3 billion in funding; at least 60,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs, and over 4,000 Pennsylvanians per year will die prematurely.
Some key points from his organization:
•The bill would end new enrollments in the Medicaid Expansion program in 2020. Because incomes rise and fall, by the end of five years, most of the almost 700,000 Pennsylvanians who received health insurance through the Medicaid expansion will lose it. Our preliminary estimate is that the reduction in federal spending in Pennsylvania on the Medicaid expansion will be roughly $4 billion per year.
•The bill would create per-capita caps on traditional Medicaid spending. Because those caps do not take into account changes in the age and health status of Medicaid beneficiaries or above average increases in health care costs due in part to the development of new and costly procedures and pharmaceuticals, federal support for Medicaid will decline by a huge amount. That will cost Pennsylvania another $10 billion to $15 billion over ten years or $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion per year.
•The bill would have a devastating impact on Pennsylvania’s state budget. To maintain traditional and expanded Medicaid would cost the state roughly $5 billion per year. Even if the state declines to support expanded Medicaid, Pennsylvania-specific health care programs already on the books are required to pick up some of the those who lose insurance. That cost to Pennsylvania will be $1.1 billion a year. Thus, even without continuing to pay for expanded Medicaid, the state will need $2.6 billion to $3.0 billion a year to maintain traditional Medicaid.
•The bill would force states, most likely including Pennsylvania, that are unable or unwilling to make up the difference in federal support for traditional Medicaid to reduce Medicaid benefits. Eligibility for the program will be restricted, and coverage of medical procedures will be limited. Waiting lists will be created. Work requirements, that have little or no impact on work effort, but create additional paperwork that make it hard for people to secure benefits, will be created.
•The bill would force states to reduce Medicaid support for long-term care, which benefits middle-income as well as low-income seniors.
•The bill would replace the tax credits in the Affordable Care Act—which are adjusted for income and for the cost of health insurance—with new fixed tax credits that vary only with age. This shift benefits those who are younger and have higher incomes while hurting those who are older or have lower-incomes. Very few of the 321,000 Pennsylvanians who use tax credits to purchase health insurance on the health care exchange marketplace will be able to afford insurance under the Republican proposal.
In Philadelphia, for example, a 40 year-old who has an income of $20,000 will see their health insurance tax credit decline from $4,950 to $3,000. The tax credit for a 60 year-old at the same income level would drop from $11,600 to $4,000. But a 40 year-old with an income of $40,000 will see a tax-credit increase from $1,830 to $3,000 and a 40-year old with an income of $75,000 who does not receive a tax-credit now will get one of $3,000.
oSimilar results will be found in other parts of the state.
•Even if health insurance is cheaper, that insurance will have higher deductibles and more co-pays as ACA rules for health insurance are abandoned.
•The loss in federal funding in the bill would cost Pennsylvania at least 60,000 jobs, not only in the health care field but in other areas as well.
•We estimate that there will be at least 4,000 pre-mature deaths per year in Pennsylvania when the program is fully implemented in 2025.
The bill would lead to an increase in health insurance costs in the individual market as younger and healthier people delay getting health insurance until they become sick. The new tax credits for those with moderate incomes may not even offset the increase in health insurance costs.
Enactment of this proposed legislation would be a shameful episode in our history, as we turn our backs on providing health care and long-term care for millions of Americans and Pennsylvanians.
This event is open to the public. RSVPs are not required.
Human Trafficking - Hidden in Plain Sight - Attorney Tom Mosca is a graduate of Wyoming Seminary and Wilkes University. He earned a law degree from Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. As a member of the American, Pennsylvanian, and Luzerne County bar associations, Tom received a five-star peer rating for the highest level of professional excellence in services and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. As a representative of the Social Justice Committee at St. Theresa’s Church here in Shavertown, Attorney Tom Mosca serves as co-chair of the NEPA Task Force Against Human Trafficking. He also serves as Chair of the Community Awareness Committee. Tom gives us this Human Trafficking - Hidden in Plain Sight presentation on behalf of the task force.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where you live, chances are it's happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.
During his presentation on Saturday, Tom will draw attention to the issue of human trafficking including things that people can see to help identify if someone is potentially a victim of human trafficking. Shining a spotlight on that very issue is important for all of us because often times human trafficking is in plain sight. “If you see something, say something,” said Mosca.
Tom is also open to dialogue on other topics that are tearing away at the very fabric of our society. “In addition to human trafficking, we also have an out of control heroin and opioid epidemic in our area,” he said. “The scope of that problem will most likely get worse before it gets better.”
Tom and his wife, Andrea have lived in the Back Mountain for the majority of their adult lives. They are the proud parents of two grown daughters, Hillary, 26, and Tori, 23.
This Week on Sunday Magazine.
Brian Hughes speaks with local author and educator Frank Goskowski about his book "Three Essays Three Revolutions" which discusses the impact of Martin Luther, Jean Jacques Rousseau & Karl Marx and their impact today.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Pa. Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin Weissman about elder financial abuse.
And Brian speaks with Dr. Jonathan Prenner and Maryanne Cass about Low Vision Awareness.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and Sports Radio 590, WARM and 6:25am on Magic 93.
Our area has faced a string of emergency situations over the past month. Weather incidents ranging from a tornado, to hail and strong winds and fires that have forced a lot of people out of their homes. One agency, the Red Cross, has responded to all of these emergencies. ECTV Live hosts Rusty Fender, David DeCosmo, and Director Mark Migilore welcome Bill Goldsworthy to the program during the week of March 13th to discuss the overwhelming calls for assistance and volunteers that have followed these emergencies.
This week's guests are Peter Ouellette and Eric Bieski from RepresentUS, discussing their grass roots political activism. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on NEPA Sports Radio-The Game 1400/1440 am and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River
Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. The show will run Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on WILK, and on KRZ, Froggy and Max 102 early Sunday morning.
Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”
Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and he heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.
Bank of America adopts the name VISA for its credit cards…..US extends territorial waters to 200 miles….. 1st time Jay Leno appears on Tonight Show…. Formula One driver Tom Pryce dies after colliding with a track marshal at the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami……..Statewide the Philadelphia Phillies say they will once again be contenders in the NL East and hope to get to the World Series…..in Luzerne County School Board races dominate early primary interest and 40 years ago the number one song in LuLac land and America was “New Kid in Town” by The Eagles.The song was released in '76 but made number one in 1977.