U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott met with Peninsula health care providers Monday and said they voiced concerns over losing Medicaid funding under a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, the GOP-led Congress released a copy of a bill to replace the ACA called the American Health Care Act. Provisions in the bill call for eliminating the individual mandate and penalties for not having insurance, and using refundable tax credits to help participants pay for care. It also calls for changes to how Medicaid payments for care for low-income, elderly and uninsured people are paid.
Scott held two meetings in Hampton Roads Monday, one at Chesapeake Regional HealthCare in Chesapeake and one at Southeastern Virginia Health System's Physicians Community Health Center in Newport News. The meetings were closed to the media, but in a phone interview after the meetings, Scott said they were productive and gave him good insight to take back to Washington.
Health care providers voiced concerns about how revenue would be affected if Medicaid is changed to block-grant funding, as the AHCA proposes, Scott said. Some also voiced concerns about the General Assembly, which voted against expanding Medicaid under the ACA, which would provide additional federal funding, Scott said.
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan office that reviews bills and their costs, released figures Monday afternoon showing that millions would immediately lose health care coverage under the Republican plan, another concern for area providers who already serve a large population of uninsured or underinsured people, Scott said.
"The CBO confirmed what we already knew — millions of Americans would lose access to affordable health insurance under the Republican plan. This proposal was put together without considering the fundamental principles of arithmetic," said Scott, who has been a vocal opponent of repealing Affordable Care Act.
"Instead of re-trying failed health policies that result in millions paying more for less, we should build on the progress of the Affordable Care Act and not go backward," Scott said.
Canty can be reached by phone at 757-247-4832.