Tri-Cities Community Health CEO sees no benefits in GOP health care plan

PASCO, Wash. - Senate Republicans are delaying a vote on the GOP health care bill. Many Medicaid recipients are left to wonder what will happen to their coverage.

"If you have any health care needs I'd get to them looked at right away," said Tri-Cities Community Health interim CEO Ralph Hill.

Tri-Cities Community Health serves about 25,000 low-income patients, many of them are on Medicaid.

"We're limited in our resources, they are very limited. And this will reduce our resources more. There's going to be more demand then we can meet within the community," said Hill.

Hill recommends patients get any health concerns looked at now, before coverage changes.

"It's very it's very tough to see that all the work that we've done for all these years trying to improve our health status of our communities is now at great risk and that we're going to be stepping back frankly 10 to 15 years in progress," said Hill.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the health care act would cause 22 million people to lose insurance by 2026.

In Washington, more than 214,000 would lose Medicaid.

"We often paint a picture of the bad guy that's using Medicaid benefits and doesn't deserve it. No doubt, they are out there, but frankly the majority of people do need the services, are sincere about the need and they're not trying to game the system. We're going to be hurting those people," said Hill.

He said many nursing homes will be affected by the plan. Residents would not be able to stay.

"Medicare provides extremely limited coverage for nursing homes, a very small piece. You have to be in a state where you can improve. If you can't improve in your health status, Medicare will not pay for that nursing home," said Hill.


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