New research released by Lutheran Services in America shows most Americans from all sides of the political spectrum agree that cutting and restructuring Medicaid is a bad idea.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the proposed American Care Act would cut federal Medicaid spending by $880 billion over 10 years.
By 2026, 14 million Americans, including seniors in nursing homes, children and people with disabilities will lose essential Medicaid coverage.
According to a survey conducted by Brunswick Partners, 75% of Americans oppose these cuts.
This includes 55% of those identifying as conservative, 82% as moderates and 90% of liberals. Seventy percent of Americans, which includes a majority of those who identify as conservatives, moderates, and liberals believe that Medicaid has been good for the country and 74% believe that cutting Medicaid should not be a priority for Congress.
Medicaid is the federal-state program that provides care for the most vulnerable Americans.
- Two-thirds of seniors in nursing homes are covered by Medicaid
- 39% of American children received health care coverage through Medicaid
- Over 10 million people with disabilities rely on Medicaid for care
“Many people don’t realize that most people in nursing homes are dependent upon Medicaid,” notes Bishop Steven Ullestad of the Northeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA.
“They think that their parents are safe because they are covered by Medicare. But Medicare only covers a few days and then they go on Medicaid. If you have parents in a skilled nursing facility, this proposed law endangers their health care.”
Pastor Mark Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop, serves as the Chair of the Iowa Council on Human Services. He points out that Medicaid is the least expensive way to take care of the health needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
“If vulnerable people are unable to obtain medication and other essential health services, they end up in the emergency room, hospitalized or even in some case, incarcerated. These are all much more expensive options in the long run.”
Charlotte Haberaecker, President, and CEO of Lutheran Services in America urges the Senate to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:
“The Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 would strip coverage from 22 million Americans—including 15 million who rely on Medicaid.
“Medicaid provides health care and long-term services and supports up to 74 million Americans. Two-thirds of seniors in nursing homes, 39 percent of American children and over 10 million people with disabilities rely on the program.
Stripping coverage away from the most vulnerable Americans will have serious impacts, not just on those who lose coverage, but on working class and middle-class families.
We urge Senators to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”
While healthcare has become a political hot button, one thing is not in dispute —all of scripture is clear on the obligation of people of faith to take care of the most vulnerable in the community. Medicaid has been doing a good job of that. The proposed changes to Medicaid will put our most vulnerable citizens—the elderly, children and the disabled in danger. This is why Lutheran Services in America, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Bishop Eaton and the ELCA Advocacy are all urging members to contact their senators to urge them to reject provisions in the American Health Care Act that would convert Medicaid from a guaranteed benefit to a per capita cap program.
The senate has delayed voting on this bill until after the July recess. There is still time to contact your senator and demand that there be no changes made to the Medicaid program.
The Honorable Chuck Grassley
Washington D.C. Office,35 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-3744 Fax: 202-224-6020
Des Moines Office
721 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515-288-1145 Fax: 515-288-5097
The Honorable Joni Ernst
Washington D.C. Office
111 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3254 Fax: (202) 224-9369
Des Moines Office
733 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (515) 284-4574
Fax: (515) 284-4937
Cedar Rapids Office
111 Seventh Avenue SE, Suite 480. Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Phone: (319) 365-4504 Fax: (319) 365-4683
- Bishop Eaton’s Letter on American Health Care Act
- Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor: A social statement on health, healing, and healthcare
- Congressional Budget Office confirms that Better Care Reconciliation Act would cause Millions of Americans to Lose Coverage