Non-profit fears cuts to Medicaid under proposed healthcare bill

Non-profit fears cuts to Medicaid under proposed healthcare bill

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As the White House continues to call on Senate Republicans to keep the recently passed House Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moving
forward, local non-profit organizations that provide human services are worried about proposed cuts to Medicaid.

"It all boils down to not having the money to continue to run and offer some really valuable services to an extremely vulnerable population," said executive director of Echoing Hope Ranch Sylvia Graham.

Echoing Hope Ranch has been around since 2009. They provide services for adults with disabilities, specifically Autism.

This includes residential services, in-home rehabilitation and respite care. They even help these people find jobs.

The ranch relies heavily on Medicaid to pay – and board members, most of which have children who were born with a developmental disability --- said they wouldn't know what to do if cuts were made.

"When we say medicaid funded services, we're not talking about, you know, extra curricular activities and just fun little extras," said board member and parent Della Thompson. "We're talking about life sustaining services. When we say we would lose services that means we would have very vulnerable people without enough supervision."

Eleanor and Dexter Williams moved to southern Arizona from the east coast about 10 years ago.

Their son Corey has been a full-time resident at Echoing Hope Ranch since 2013 and said as more and more Autistic children become adults, the need for services is only going to grow.

"I think that if funding were to go away that would really put us in a position of how to we make sure that ... how can he develop to the best of his ability?," said Dexter Williams.

The bill narrowly passed the house with a 217 to 213 vote last week.

In the current version, insurers would be allowed to charge older customers five times more than younger ones; Obamacare capped the ratio at 3-to-1.

In addition, states would also be allowed to roll back the requirement that all insurance plans cover a set of basics including maternity care and
emergency services.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.