As the Senate continues its secret deliberations on a health care plan that will effect all Americans, the potential impact on one of the most vulnerable groups in our society – children – continues to unfold.
Indications are that, in their closed-door meetings, the Senators have taken a similar approach to the House of Representatives. The plan that emerged from the House, the American Health Care Act, would cut $800 billion dollars in Medicaid nationwide. As our friends at NC Child point out, those cuts cannot happen without affecting children in North Carolina because kids make up 69% of all Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in our state.
Almost half of NC children with chronic conditions such as juvenile diabetes and asthma rely on Medicaid and CHIP, which also provide in-home care for children with disabilities; screening, diagnosis, and treatment of physical and mental illnesses; and lab tests, x-rays, and hospital visits, among other things.
Medicaid cuts could result in the reduction of doctor-recommended services, special education services, and provider payments. The impact would fall heaviest on the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, children with chronic illnesses and with disabilities.
There is no way to square that with our call as people of faith to care for one another.
The development of the Senate plan in secrecy appears to be a deliberate effort to sidestep public input and likely criticism. Indeed, there is a push underway to have the plan voted on before Senators are back in their home states for the July 4 holiday where constituent input might be unavoidable. But we can still be heard. Please call Senators Tillis and Burr and let them know that you are concerned about the secret process and rush to vote on a plan that is shaping up to hurt tens of millions, including children.
Senator Tillis can be reached at 202-224-6342, and Senator Burr’s number is 202-224-3154.
Please let our Senators hear from you on this critical justice issue.