Health groups condemn new Republican Obamacare repeal plan

Chuck Schumer with protesters in WashingtonImage copyrightEUROPEAN PHOTOPRESS AGENCY
Image captionDemocrats have rallied against the bill

Sixteen patient and provider groups have opposed the latest healthcare plan put forward by Republican senators as a replacement for Obamacare.

In a joint statement, they said the proposal would endanger access to care for millions of Americans.

For years, Republicans have pushed to abolish President Barack Obama’s law, which expanded health insurance but failed to curb rising medical costs.

The bill will need 50 votes to pass the Senate before going to the House.

It would then go to the White House for the president’s signature.

Despite their longstanding opposition to Obamacare, Republicans have so far been unable to agree on a replacement.

Since taking control of the White House, several attempts to rally around a new plan have collapsed.

Now they have only until the end of the month to pass this bill.

Advertisements

LePage cuts last direct ties with tribes on public health

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has cut off state funding that the four federally recognized Native American tribes in Maine were using to plan an expansion of addiction treatment and mental health care in their communities.

The move comes six years after Maine started including the tribes in state-funded efforts to combat major health problems. Tribal leaders now worry that recent initiatives to develop an addiction treatment center serving tribal members, improve life for seniors, and tackle other health challenges in the tribal communities in eastern and northern Maine could stall.

The public health work “was beginning to have some positive results, and, now, all of a sudden, it’s gone,” said Theodore Bear Mitchell I, a former Penobscot Indian Nation representative in the Maine Legislature.

Compared with Maine’s population, tribal members face higher rates of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure; they have markedly higher smoking and heavy drinking rates; and they have lower life expectancy.

hqdefault.jpg