Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 23, 2017 


We begin the week with President Donald Trump urging GOP House members to support the Senate budget bill; a new report tracks a growing “right” to discriminate at both the state and federal level; and we will let you know why Trump budget cuts are being labeled a threat to waterways in the Midwest.

Daily Newscasts

Senior Groups Hail Demise of GOP's Latest ACA Repeal

Senior advocates say the now-defunct Graham-Cassidy bill would have limited access for some to nursing-home care. (Reknown Health)
Senior advocates say the now-defunct Graham-Cassidy bill would have limited access for some to nursing-home care. (Reknown Health)
September 27, 2017

PHOENIX - Arizona senior advocates are breathing a sigh of relief now that the latest GOP effort to repeal Obamacare has been withdrawn, lacking the necessary number of votes in support of the bill.

Its authors pulled the Graham-Cassidy bill on Tuesday, a day before the planned vote. The bill proposed to cap the amount of money states get to administer their Medicaid programs as a block grant. Dana Kennedy, state director for AARP Arizona, said that would have meant massive cuts in federal funding for Arizona's version of Medicaid, known as AHCCCS or "Access."

"The result would be clear," Kennedy said. "Access to services for some of the most vulnerable populations in our society, guaranteed for over half a century, would be in jeopardy."

Kennedy praised Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for his vocal opposition to the bill, despite heavy pressure from his Republican colleagues. This is the third time in recent months that a GOP bill to gut the Affordable Care Act has failed.

The bill also would have allowed insurance companies to raise rates sharply on people with pre-existing conditions and on older Americans, something Kennedy called an "age tax."

"There would be an insurance policy that you can purchase, but you're not going to be able to afford it," she said. "We believe that there would be price-gouging for people with pre-existing conditions."

The Congressional Budget Office never had a chance to fully score the Graham-Cassidy bill, but AARP estimated that, for a 60-year-old Arizonan with an income of $25,000 a year, it could have meant an increase in total health costs of more than $22,000 by 2020.

The text of the Graham-Cassidy bill is online at cassidy.senate.gov.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ