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QC Hospitals Fear Effects of Senate Healthcare Bill


Healthcare leaders in the Quad Cities are speaking out against the Senate healthcare bill.

The bill includes massive cuts to Medicaid, the program that provides coverage to low-income and disabled people.

Under the Affordable Care Act, healthcare centers in the Quad Cities say they saw massive improvements to the health of low-income patients.

That's because low-income folks could afford more services after Medicaid was expanded under the ACA in 2010.  
Tom Bowman is CEO of Community Health  Care.
"Last year we had over 5,000 more patients screened for depression than otherwise could've been if we didn't have those extra dollars. Hypertension -- we had 500 more people who brought their hypertension under control, so that's 500 more people who aren't at risk for a heart attack, or a stroke, or an extended hospital stay where the cost is astronomical." 
He says under the proposed healthcare bill, Medicaid patients won't be able to afford those services any longer. And 60 percent of his organization's patients are covered by Medicaid, putting the future of the organization in jeopardy as well. 
The new bill would slash Medicaid funding by nearly 800 billion dollars in a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
That office says the bill would also decrease the country's deficit by billions in the same time period.