The action surrounding the possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act is something health experts have been watching closely.
9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have more details with how local health care providers feel.
“Certainly this issue of what happens with health care reform is of great interest to all hospitals in northern Michigan,” says Ed Ness, president of Munson Healthcare.
Plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have many people in health care asking questions.
“If something is going to be repealed, what is it going to be replaced with?” asks Ness.
The Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance says they’re concerned about the impact on the local health departments in their 25 county region.
“The current repeal would get rid of the prevention public health fund which is 12% of CDC’s budget, but also those dollars make their way to the local level here and fund important programs like immunizations, chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and lab capacity, and those are things that keep the residents of the area safe,” says Mike Swain, Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
Munson Healthcare says their biggest issue with the American Health Care Act is the number of people who may lose insurance, but they also say change is needed.
“I think in any system you need to look at it to make improvements,” Ness says. “If there’s ways to decrease the regulatory burden on health care providers and help us reduce costs that would be welcomed.”
Proposed cuts of $880 billion to Medicaid has Ann Rogers and Geraldine Greene concerned for their loved ones.
“I do know a lot of working people who are not working for a particular business, who are self-employed, who would lose it. My own daughter would lose it,” Rogers says. “I’m very concerned for her.”
“Someone who has weekly treatments, very young man, two and a half years old, has Medicaid and it costs a lot of money every week,” says Greene. “If that goes away, what is going to happen?”
The Republican health care bill has cleared two House Committees, but has not been voted on by the full House or Senate.