Louisa loses big under Senate health care bill

Last week, the GOP Senate released its version of the new health care bill that will replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). If you think you and your family won’t be affected by it, think again.

There are major areas that could affect most residents in our county – cuts to the school system and cuts that will affect people who are in nursing homes. This is in addition to the working people who will lose their healthcare because the ACA subsidies will be cut and insurance will become unaffordable.

The Louisa County school system will lose $206,990 in federal Medicaid funding for services for students under this health bill. Many of these services are for students who need special education services or have disabilities. Because these services are mandated by law, they cannot be just taken out of the budget. They will have to be provided and paid for by Louisa County in its budget. Where does Louisa County get most of its money? It collects taxes from us. A tax increase might be necessary to fund these deficits and that affects all of us.

The second area that may touch the lives of those who think they will be unaffected is the funding provided by Medicaid for those in nursing homes. Medicaid pays for most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes across the nation. A lot of those patients paid for years of care privately in assisted living but, when their savings ran out, they had to rely on Medicaid to pay for skilled care in nursing homes. Maybe you have a family member in a nursing home in the area and this will affect you. Are you ready to take them into your home to care for them? Many of us will need these skilled nursing home services later in life. You just don’t know what the future holds in store for you.

Very few of us are safe from the drastic measures in this new health care bill that Congress is proposing. Whether you will lose your health care directly from the cuts or you have children receiving services in school or you have family in nursing homes or you have a pre-existing condition, this Senate bill will affect your life and not for the better. The Affordable Care Act gave us coverage and protections that just don’t exist in the new bill. Don’t let Congress wipe out the progress and protections we have gained in health care. Contact your senators and congressional representatives today and let them know that you support the Affordable Care Act and you want it fixed but NOT repealed.

JoAnna Hickman

Editors Note: this article has been re-posted with the author’s permission and is only available online to paid subscribers of the Central Virginian.