The discussion about and the decision to delay a vote is happening all over the country including in northern Michigan.
9&10’s Megan Woods looked into its possible impact on Munson Healthcare patients as well as what local republicans have to say.
Director of Government Relations for Munson Healthcare, Gabe Schneider says, “Close to a 100,000 patients at Munson Health care in Michigan receive Medicaid and close to 40,000 patients receive benefits from the healthy Michigan plan and Medicaid expansion.”
So for Munson Healthcare hearing the Congressional Budget Office estimates 22 million more Americans would be without coverage raises concerns.
Schneider says, “So really when we look at this legislation we’re most concerned about changes and different cuts where people would no longer have that coverage which would not mean that we wouldn’t take care of them which means there would be no reimbursements for those people.”
Munson Healthcare hopes the delay of a vote brings a better outcome.
Schneider says, “We would very much like the senate to take a fresh look at this legislation slow down, take a fresh look so they can really truly understand the potential impacts that this legislation would have on health insurance coverage in northern Michigan.”
While local republicans like John Roth, chair for Grand Traverse County Republicans, see the delay as an opportunity to ensure the bill eventually goes through. “They were trying to get it passed. I know they’re anxious to do so, I think I wasn’t terribly disappointed it didn’t pass. I understood there’s probably a couple of senators that we’re going to ask some questions or have some objections to it. They want to get things done quickly but it’s better to do things right.”
Munson Healthcare says they still believe changes should be made to the Affordable Care Act.
“Munson Healthcare will be the first to say there are certainly changes to Affordable Care Act that could be made that could be productive to the way we deliver health care, but again this particular piece of legislation it’s really not focusing on repealing and replacing Affordable Care Act it’s making more significant cuts to Medicaid.”