SDAHO 'Deeply Concerned' With Healthcare Overhaul

Jun 29, 2017

Credit U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

US Senator Mike Rounds says Congress hopes to have a healthcare overhaul bill signed by the president in September.
Rounds says that’s enough time to establish new rules as the insurance marketplace opens in January.
But an association of South Dakota hospitals wants the state’s delegation to vote against the bill.

United States Senate Republicans are delaying a vote on their proposed healthcare overhaul bill.
Rounds says lawmakers don’t want to rush it through the chamber. He says leaders are tweaking the bill before sending it back to the Congressional Budget Office for a new score.
Rounds says the bill does not decrease Medicaid dollars for South Dakota.
“That change is actually still allows for an actual increase in the payments on Medicaid during that same time period,” Rounds says. “So, while it is a reduction into what is being put into Medicaid as estimated that does not mean that we aren’t continuing to put more in over the next ten years, than what we are today. So you got to put it into perspective as well.”
The Republican legislation uses the consumer price index to determine Medicaid funding for states.

Scott Duke is the president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. He says the new formula gives states two percent less than current law. He says that rate change will devastate South Dakota.
“Two percent off of our already low base rate, compounding over a ten-year period, our analysis showed that it could be as much as $8.8 billion less to the state over a ten year period,” Duke says.

Duke says the healthcare organization association opposes both the House and Senate Republican healthcare overhauls.
United States Senators expect to vote on their bill following the congressional Fourth of July break.