Letters to the Editor

Dunn letter: Health care

As a family physician, I am deeply concerned that the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) will cause millions of Americans to lose their health care coverage and millions more to face dramatically higher costs. The BCRA seems to focus on “eliminating” access to health care coverage and not addressing the real-life financial challenges people have with health care.

One of the sweeping changes is the end of the federal government’s commitment to share all Medicaid costs with states. Lowering Medicaid spending in this way shifts all financial risk to states. These cuts not only place the health care of rural children, the sick, the elderly and people with disabilities at risk, but they imperil the nursing homes, hospitals and community organizations that serve all patients.

On average, rural hospitals in Idaho under BCRA will have negative operating margins of -1.2 percent. Negative operating margins threaten the survival of the hospital and jeopardize the quality and safety of care.

Rather than impose further hardship on rural Idaho communities, we should build on what we know works: ensuring affordable health care coverage for everyone.

Please contact Sens. Mike Crapo (202-224-6142) and Jim Risch (202-224-2752) today and let them know how you feel.

Scott Dunn M.D., Sandpoint