The headline says it all. And the tie in to our local Hospital District is that this is likely to push us financially from black ink to red. And what were our local physician’s medical society doing about such a looming crisis, with more to come in the Medicare and Medicaid cuts? Were they coming out and deciding they were going to sound the clarion call and warn the population of the looming crisis? Ask them to call their legislators to ‘save the children’? Nope. They were getting together to vote to endorse a man with no significant health care experience over a woman with a lifetime of policy and medical background. Just like the voters last year that voted for Trump, who is putting the local hospital in jeopardy by endorsing these cuts. Did these same physicians feel compelled to get together last year in the run up to the election to warn the population of the impending disaster that Trump likely would bring to healthcare at both the national and local scene? Nope. Have they ever endorsed a candidate before? Apparently not. But I digress, I’ll cover that tale of our local petty politics in another post at a later date. Here’s our latest medical fiasco on the national level.
Last Saturday, Congress failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), jeopardizing systems that provide low-cost insurance for almost 9 million kids and hundreds of thousands of pregnant women in families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but still need assistance. Legislators failed to renew other safety net programs as well. But missing the window on CHIP was a particularly egregious fumble, and one of the clearest signals to date of how desperate this Republican-led Congress is.
This was sent out by the Jefferson Healthcare on their concerns to changes to the 340B program. This program has been used to theoretically fund low cost prescriptions. There are a variety of points of view about what the program has actually achieved, but the hospital is adamantly opposed to the cuts to it. We likely can discuss this more at the next Citizen’s Healthcare Access group meeting in September in Port Townsend.
340b letter PDF file. Here’s the first page so you can decide if you want to read the whole PDF.
Another downside to the options the Republicans are considering behind closed doors.
It’s well known that the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now making its way through the Senate would deny coverage to tens of millions of Americans. Less well known is that it would also hit the brakes on “delivery system reform,” the work of doctors and hospitals to improve quality and reduce costs. In other words, it would make quality of care worse.
So here comes the first of many negative changes to the health care from the Republican dominated Congress. There is still a chance this won’t be implemented, but don’t bet on it. Americans have put these people into office, they have taken away the government’s ability to negotiate drug prices and now are going to take away the funds needed to protect the most helpless of us from losing their medications.
PORT ANGELES — In the first six months of 2017, Olympic Medical Center reported a $1.1 million loss in revenue, and it could face more financial setbacks next year if Medicare weakens a discount drug program, Chief Executive Officer Eric Lewis said.
You may need to sign up for a subscription to read this, but please do. Support your local newspaper or you may find it gone!
The SmileMobile is in Chimacum next week – July 24 through July 28 at the Tri-Area Community Center. The dentists will provide care to babies up through high school age, pregnant/post-partum women and family members (capacity allows) of the children we see on the SmileMobile. There will be multiple dentists working with us and we have lots of openings left on Tuesday.
Please print and send electronically to all of your friends, community partners, churches and other organizations.
We rely on the community to get the word out about our coming and encourage families to schedule! Our expertise is providing the dentistry.
Our next stops will be in Forks – July 31 through August 11 and Sequim – August 14 – 23.
Senior Program Officer-Arcora – The Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington
- (206) 528.7339; c. (206) 276.1620
The Seattle Times has a good article about the outcome of the Republican led move to sow uncertainty and doubt about Obamacare’s future. Gray’s Harbor joins the growing ranks of county’s without healthcare insurance for over 2200 of it’s residents. And if the Republicans in Washington get their way, there will be over 7000 more joining them soon. Oddly, out of all this, we may end up getting single payer, due to the Republicans apparently hell bent on committing political suicide by alienating their base of white rural lower to middle class voters. 47 counties nationwide now don’t have health insurance companies serving them, most of the counties voted Republican. Read it and weep. Because counties like ours, which are largely using Medicare and Medicaid to supply us with health coverage are next up on the Republicans chopping block.
Obamacare is starting to crack, starting in our state’s sickest spot, Grays Harbor County. But the plan isn’t to fix it. It’s to make it dramatically worse.