The Consumers Union, who publish Consumer Reports magazine, and the National Health Law Program Inc. report that under the proposed G.O.P. Medicaid reform plan, 12 million Americans would lose their health coverage. Furthermore, because of lack of funding, many hospitals would be forced to close their emergency rooms. The groups based their study on California’s experiences when the state cut projected Medicaid spending by 18% in the 1980s. As a result of the cuts, eleven out of twenty-three trauma centers closed, with all thirteen emergency rooms in central L.A. closed to ambulance traffic bi-weekly. Jeanne Finberg, the senior attorney for the Consumer’s Union, commented that, “If the current Medicaid proposal becomes law, the cuts are so deep and so deadly that California’s experience will pale in comparison to the hardship that may sweep the nation.”
The Senate takes the measure up on Wednesday and may vote on it by Friday. The House takes the measure up on Thursday and may vote on it that same day.