American Health Care Act & the Oregon Health Plan
By Stephen Behrends, May 13 2017 07:19PM
In my opinion, the American Health Care Act passed recently by the House of Representatives means trouble for the Oregon Health Plan. In turn, problems for the OHP will likely to lead to fewer people in Oregon being covered by it and ultimately to more people being forced into bankruptcy over medical bills.
The American Health Care Act includes a large cut to the Medicaid funding that Oregon uses for the OHP. The state is very unlikely to be able to make up the shortfall. As a result, fewer people will be covered and there will probably be fewer benefits for those who are. Many Oregonians currently rely on the OHP for their health insurance. They can not afford insurance on the individual market, even with government subsidies. If they don’t have health insurance, many will forego or delay treatment. They may not get preventative care. Health problems that could be addressed successfully caught early will go untreated. Then, ultimately, these people will end up in the emergency room or with costly hospitalization that could have been avoided with early diagnosis and treatment. Since they can’t afford the bills from the emergency room visits, let alone hospitalization, they will end up having to file bankruptcy over these medical bills.