September 25, 2017

Ed. note: This post was written before the announcement that Republicans would NOT be voting on the Graham-Cassidy bill this week. While Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy insist they will put this bill through the rigors of regular order (60 votes to pass), it appears to be dead through the September 30th deadline. However, zombies will rise. They always do. - Karoli

Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham have been telling (lying) to the American people about how excellent (awful) their 4th frankenstein version of Trumpcare would be. Medicaid? Perfect. Medicare? As good or better than before! Pre-existing conditions? All covered!

Well, guess what? They are big old liars. During Monday's "hearing" on Graham Cassidy, Cindy Mann, former Director of Medicare and Medicaid, discussed how capping payments to states would devastate one of the most vulnerable populations in America - those residing in nursing homes.

Here is some of the exchange:

Wyden: Tell us what this proposal means for our nations senior citizens?

Mann: Thank you for the question, Senator Wyden. Very few people, I think, truly understand what you just discussed, which is the importance of the Medicaid program to our elders in this country. There is no public support for long term care, except in the Medicaid program...about 21% of our spending in the Medicaid program is for people 65 and older, so it's very important part of, we are the dollars in the Medicaid program, and as a result, when there is a "cap", if there would be an arbitrary cap, the amount of dollars that a state can spend in it's program, where a state will go, not necessarily because its the first choice, but because of the math, is where the expensive services are...and they will look to people with disabilities and they will look to the elderly.

So they may still have the requirement to do nursing home care, but states have expanded some eligibility requirements for nursing home care and so those optional nursing home eligible people may lose their coverage...When you are under a cap, you are going to manage to the cap and cut the high cost cases.

Wyden: The nation's senior citizens who have counted on a guarantee are effectively seeing the guarantee hollowed out.

Nothing says Republican like hurting those that are most vulnerable and least likely to have a voice: the elderly and the disabled. Despicable.

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