Visit our website ⇒

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Health group: Up to 250,000 Iowans at risk under GOP bill
The Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) estimates a Republican-backed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act could leave up to 250,000 Iowans without health insurance, and others speculate the change could destabilize the entire Medicaid system that serves poor and disabled people. Kirk Norris, president and CEO of IHA, said the bill would cause people to lose preventive care coverage, increasing emergency room visits and leading to more costs for hospitals. (Associated Press/Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Privatized Medicaid a disaster
Before state Medicaid was privatized in the fall of 2015, most of the services Hannah Soyer of Iowa City received were managed through the Department of Human Services (DHS), as was the case of other 600,000 disabled or poor Iowans. But the majority of those who had been managed by DHS are now managed by one of the three private managed care organizations. Soyer and others with disabilities have experienced several problems since then. Quality health care for people with disabilities can be hard to find when making sure these services are funded is a headache. It is time that the state Legislature recognize what privatized Medicaid in Iowa has become: a disaster. (Daily Iowan)

Despite crowd’s hostility, Ernst gratified by town hall in Cedar Rapids
US Senator Joni Ernst welcomed input from a highly partisan, overflow crowd Friday at a town-hall meeting. If nothing else, the Iowa Republican said, the gathering demonstrated that “Iowans understand how politics works” and how to engage elected officials. And the crowd let her know that it doesn’t think much of the proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act, the president’s “skinny budget” or much of anything they see coming out of the Trump administration and Congress. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

AHA moves lobbying effort to stop ACA repeal to Senate
Feeling unheard in the House, the American Hospital Association (AHA) is turning to the Senate to stop the American Health Care Act from becoming law. AHA met and shared its concerns with House leadership about provisions of the law it feels will result in millions of people losing coverage, which could ultimately harm the financial stability of many hospitals when their uncompensated care costs soar. “We cannot support the bill in its present form,” Rick Pollack, AHA CEO, said at a news conference Friday. “It doesn’t appear as if they are making any major changes at this point that would accommodate the concerns that we have,” Pollack said. (Modern Healthcare)

Illinois experts say Republican health care plan could cost state $40 billion
Illinois stands to lose an estimated $40 billion in federal money over the next decade under the Republican health care proposal being considered in Congress. The figure comes as state House Democrats sought to put a price tag on the potential impact of the plan on health care programs for the poor. Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the Republican plan, David Gross, senior vice president of government relations for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, told lawmakers. “This is at a time when the state is not well positioned to absorb the costs,” Gross said. (Chicago Tribune)

Rural Wisconsin takes hit in GOP health plan after backing Donald Trump
No congressional district in Wisconsin delivered a bigger victory margin for Donald Trump last fall (20 points) than the rural northern one represented by Republican Sean Duffy. But by one key measure, no district in Wisconsin would lose more health care aid under the GOP plan to replace Obamacare. Wisconsin is part of a national pattern in which the Obamacare enrollees who appear to be hit the hardest by the Republican plan fit the demographic and geographic profile of Trump’s political base which disproportionately live in rural areas. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

On Medicaid money, GOP has win-or-lose proposition for states
States’ policies differ about who or what to cover in Medicaid and those decisions have led to historical variances in how much federal money they receive. House Republicans’ effort to shrink federal Medicaid spending would lock in the differences in a way that favors those already spending high amounts per enrollee. GOP leaders want to give states a set amount of money each year based on a formula known as per-capita caps. But caps would shift costs and financial risks to the states and could force them to cut benefits or eligibility to manage their budgets. (Kaiser Health News)

New Baltimore wellness center works to reduce stigma of mental illness
Patients who receive mental health counseling at the new Simon Life and Wellness Center in Baltimore lie on white leather sofas with faux suede and fur pillows. It’s not the typical decor, but the staff at Simon Life and Wellness in the Charles North neighborhood wants clients, many of them low-income, to see it as a cool and welcoming place. Simon Life and Wellness offers an art therapy room, music therapy and yoga classes. Owner Christopher A. Simon hopes to diminish the stigma that’s often attached to mental illness and draw more people from some of Baltimore’s most troubled neighborhoods into much-needed treatment. (Baltimore Sun)

Leave a Comment

Please take a moment to read through our comment policy.

If you would like a photo to appear next to your comment, you'll need to upload a gravatar.