A hospital emergency room (www.minnpost.com).
by Steve Timmer
May 5, 2017, 10:00 PM

The rural healthcare pogrom

It won’t be news to anybody that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare. Just as replacing Obama with Trump was a bad idea generally, this is, too. According to the linked Strib article, the bill faces a steeper climb in the Senate.

It is interesting to note that if two of Minnesota’s three Republican Congressmen: Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, and Jason Lewis, had voted “no,” the bill would have failed. Whatever happens to the bill in the Senate, there will be a lot of long knives (metaphorically; don’t get excited) out for these three in the fall of 2018. I think perhaps by implication, Emmer, in taking one for the caucus, took himself out a of a potential run for governor, too.

The Strib editorial board had lengthy editorial today criticizing the House vote and explaining some of the more odious effects of it. Here was just one:

A previous CBO analysis of the unrevised AHCA concluded that 24 million fewer people would be covered than under the ACA by 2026. In addition, $880 billion would be cut over the next decade from the Medicaid program — which provides long-term care for the elderly and medical coverage for more than 30 million children.

In many rural communities in Minnesota, healthcare is one of, or the, strongest economy sector: community hospitals and nursing homes. The bill takes $800 billion out of Medicaid over ten years and repeals the taxes on taxpayers making over $200,000 a year to pay for it. More than one person has described it as making poor people die to give the rich a tax break. Is this a great country or what?

Rep. Erin Murphy, one of the Minnesota Legislature’s health care experts, and a candidate for governor next year, made a campaign stop at Drinking Liberally recently. Here’s what she had to say about Trumpcare’s underfunded high risk pools and the consequences of the loss of Medicaid funds to rural communities.

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