By Nancy Reding—May 15, 2017
This letter to the editor was originally published in the Merced Sun-Star.
The recent AHCA vote will be painful for Merced County. If “Trumpcare” eventually becomes law, our community will suffer. Here’s what the law will do, says the Merced Sun-Star: “gradually diminish federal matching funds for the Medi-Cal program, forcing state leaders to make tough decisions on cutting services and payments to health-care providers or continuing with the Medi-Cal expansion.” From the same article: “about 51 percent of Merced County residents were enrolled in Medi-Cal, according to data from the UC Berkeley Labor Center.”
Do the math. If the bill passes, Merced County would be most impacted by the funds cut from Medi-Cal. And it gets worse, doctors and hospitals depend on Medi-Cal funding and the proposed cuts will hurt them, too. The representatives in Washington didn’t have one hearing about this new bill and didn’t listen to any testimony from the AARP or American Medical Association or any of a number of advocates who all condemn this bill. Our local leaders need to show true leadership. The recent vote by the county board of supervisors to hold a study session about how to provide health care is a great start, but this session needs to turn into results. And fast.