Health groups urge governors to fight Senate healthcare bill

Health groups urge governors to fight Senate healthcare bill
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A coalition of patient and provider groups is calling on the governors of every state to advocate against the Senate’s healthcare bill.

In letters sent Monday, the groups asked every governor to urge their members of Congress to express concerns about the consequences of the policies in the bill, specifically the plan to restructure Medicaid and end ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.

“Time is short and the Senate may pass a bill that will have long lasting negative impacts on the health of our country,” the groups wrote.

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The coalition includes the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, United Way and the March of Dimes.

“Our organizations have been committed to working with legislators to ensure that adequate protections remain or are put in place to serve the more than 100 million Americans we represent. Despite this commitment, we have not been consulted in any meaningful way,” the groups wrote.

Support of big health groups was crucial to the passing of ObamaCare in 2010, but those same groups have largely been shut out of the process as Republicans try to repeal it. They were mostly critical of the House-passed healthcare bill.

Some Republican governors have already been speaking out against the bill, notably Ohio's John Kasich and Nevada's Brian Sandoval.

The Senate unveiled its ObamaCare repeal bill last week and will vote on Thursday. Health groups have slammed the bill and have been urging the Senate to make substantial changes. The groups warn the bill could have negative consequences for people across the country.

The proposal includes deep cuts to Medicaid and fundamentally reshapes the program from an open-ended government commitment to a system of capped federal payments that limit spending.

The measure also reduces spending on ObamaCare’s tax credits, which help people buy insurance.