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The Faces of Medicaid, Who Loses?

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The health care reform proposed by the Senate, which President Donald Trump calls "mean," has left many people asking, "Who loses?"

Senate GOP leaders have been hoping to pass the new proposal before they leave for the July 4 recess, but many signs point to a further date. The potential delay of voting demonstrates the challenges Republicans are facing in putting together legislation that can attract the 50 GOP votes it would need to pass.

But what happens when it does pass? Many Southern Tier residents and officials say, "Our community loses."

One of the targets of the new health care bill, medicaid, would see severe cuts in its services. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would result in $3.1 billion cut in medicaid spending.

"In Broome County, medicaid is a very critical part of Broome's healthcare," said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive.

According to Garnar, approximately 44,000 people out of 200,000 in Broome County are on medicaid. Nearly half of those with medicaid are children. With 52% of baby deliveries in NY State covered by Medicaid, it's not hard to wonder why so many families are stressed to not know what may happen to them in the future.

"Medicaid is a lifeline for children and their families, often the only viable source of financing for their extensive and expensive coverage," said Sharon Chesna, CEO of Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network.

With ten hospitals located in the 22nd District, the estimated cut-cost to their service would result in a loss $28.1 million. According to the New York Department of Health, if the current health system is repealed critical health care services for local residents would be shut down. Resulting in hundreds of job losses.

Willow Point Nursing Home, which has already been facing severe financial cuts, could be placed with a loss of nearly $2.4 million. Already, 24% of New York seniors receive Medicaid -- including those in need of home health care and long term care --, but medical analysts say it's not just the seniors at nursing homes that would be facing problems with the new health care bill.

"In every county, health care has risen to become the highest private sector employer (14% of all jobs). Cutting medicaid would have an estimated loss of over $28 million," said Jeff Davis, Lourdes and UHS Consultant.

"This is not only bad policy, it's anti-democratic," said Geraldine Hopewell, Health Care Workers Union 1199 SEIU

Medicaid provides 713,600 people with disabilities access to critical care that allows them to live independently. Urging the NY Delegation to reject these medicaid cuts, those who are currently enrolled are begging the Senate to consider the future of lives without medicaid. One medicaid consumer confessed to having multiple health problems, that without his current insurance plan would mean he would not be able to afford medication.

"Without programs like this, so many of us, not just myself, would be dead. [The Senate's] actions are giving me a death wish," said James St. Jacques, Medicaid consumer.

Roughly 20,000 working-class individuals that qualify for the Essential Plan and Medicaid expansion health coverage in Broome, would be dropped. Poised to lose millions, these and many other Americans are the faces of medicaid.

Medicaid consumers are urging the public to contact Congresswoman Claudia Tenney at 315-853-4979.

Telling her not to pass the health care reform bill.