One of the topics on the “hot seat” with our new administration is healthcare; particularly, Medicaid. The latest trend it seems is to create a new healthcare system, and then use last names to label it. The latest and greatest is TrumpCare, or as many have come to call it, TrumpDon’tCare. This new healthcare proposal would replace ObamaCare, and implement new aspects into the systems currently in place.

What is the huge commotion about TrumpCare? How will it affect us mountain folk?

To start, the proposed bill isn’t actually called TrumpCare; it’s legal name is the Cassidy-Graham Healthcare Proposal, named after two senators who collaborated on the piece of legislation. Their goal for this new system is to move the power over Medicaid into the hands of the states, so they may attend to their citizens and spend the money as they need. Sounds logical, right? If implemented correctly, yes.

However, there’s always a catch. With power at the state level, the incentives and requirements to support citizens who need medical government funds would disappear. This will leave many with a lack of help for their ailments, and essentially a lack of hope. To replace this loss of funding, the federal government will provide block grants that come with flexible spending rules. States may spend this money how they please, whether that be on those in need or not.

Don’t worry- there’s a catch to this point, too. It’s said that these grants would end by the year 2027, leading state governments to fill the void through other methods. The source of extra funding would vary by state, but many would be forced to pull money out of other areas of their budget, such as education, to supplement. Taxes could also be increased for citizens, or Medicaid could not receive any funding at all. This aspect of the proposal could cost states billions of dollars, and would cut the equivalent of 16% of states’ budgets by the year 2027.

Statistically overall, it seems that this proposal cuts funding from all over the country; 34 states would lose a percentage of their federal funding. North Carolina in particular is said to lose about 5% of our funds, which would leave over 1.3 million citizens without coverage. It’s estimated that 638,900 North Carolinians would lose their Medicaid coverage, and another 709,500 citizens who benefit from the individual market would lose coverage as well.

Now the questions may be raised of how this will affect us personally?

There are numerous ways that the passage of this new healthcare proposal can create negative change in our lives. The most obvious impact would be if you, or a loved one, benefits from Medicaid, then their healthcare may no longer be provided. Also, it’s said that those most affected by the bill passage will be impoverished children and able adults. Taxes may be raised to compensate for lost funds, which would affect any tax-paying citizen, and the possible budget cuts for education could affect you, or your future generations.
There’s two sides to every story (or in this case, every proposed healthcare legislation). Those on the back swing may not be able to raise their voices on issues such as these, but their voices are the ones that need to be heard. Everyone, including Granma Hazel, deserves to be as healthy and happy as the rest of us, so we must help those quiet voices be heard during this most recent uproar over our administration.