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Analysis

BCRA's Proposed Medicaid Cuts Stand at the 'Intersection of Value and Values'

By Christopher Cheney  
   July 17, 2017

Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, as the GOP's Better Care Reconciliation Act proposes, makes no sense to some healthcare leaders.

In the healthcare industry, the chorus of alarm over congressional proposals to slash Medicaid is thunderous.

In a joint letter to Senate leaders released Friday, the presidents and CEOs of America's Health Care Plans (AHIP) and the BlueCross BlueShield Association called the latest amendment to the GOP bill "unworkable," and said it "would harm consumers who are most in need of coverage."

Ignoring these voices bears the risk of shuttering hundreds of rural hospitals, shredding the financial fabric of thousands of communities, and signing death certificates for people who could live longer lives.

Specifically, here's what some healthcare industry executives have told HealthLeaders Media recently:

Otis Brawley, MD

Chief Medical Officer

American Cancer Society

Atlanta, GA

ACS researchers have already published declines in health disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of several cancers in states that expanded Medicaid, with no change in states that have not expanded.

We see more breast, colon, and cervical cancer screening. There are signals of more accurate diagnostics and improved quality of treatment. We have also seen differences in smoking cessation, with more efforts and more success in states where Medicaid was expanded.

As a health-outcomes epidemiologist, I see provision of adequate care to include preventive services, such as smoking cessation, appropriate screening, diagnostics, and treatment as a human right. The declines in Medicaid are most concerning in that they will decrease preventive measures and early treatment.

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.


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