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

By Christopher Cheney  
   July 17, 2017

In Missouri, one of the most vocal advocates for Medicaid expansion was the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They recognized that a system that doesn't address the cost of the uninsured is a system that passes along costs and delivers poorer results.

Peter Wright, FACHE

President and CEO

Valley Regional Healthcare,

Claremont, NH

Over the years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress have toyed with 1% and 2% cuts here and there on physician payments or hospital payments for Medicare and Medicaid. These guys are talking about taking nearly $800 billion just out of Medicaid.

If this were to go through the way it is today, you would see loads of hospitals across the country start to go out of business.

We are the third largest employer in the county. We employ about 350 people, and we don't just employ people. Our average wage is higher—we are employing the higher-wage people in our community.

We're already filling a hole in our budget. It was $5 million a few years ago, it was $4 million last year, and it will be $3 million this year. We're starting to dig out, but we are starting to dig out because of the ACA.

They are cutting payments to Medicare and Medicaid. That means the cuts are going to disproportionately affect people in poorer communities and in older communities. This is not going to hit Nashua, New Hampshire, which has a low percentage of Medicaid patients. This is going to hit Plymouth. This is going to hit the North Country. This is going to hit the places in the state where the need for care is the most.

This is going to hit all of the wrong places.

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

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