Some NJ residents concerned about GOP health care plan

Posted: Updated:

As Republicans finalize their new health care bill, some of New Jersey’s residents say that they are concerned by the changes and cuts the bill provides.

Leandra Delgado will soon turn 14 years old. She says that she takes 18 medications a day due to a rare muscle disease. Her expensive care wasn’t covered under her mother’s employer’s insurance. She has coverage under the Affordable Health care Act. Her mother says that she is now scared that the new Republican plan to repeal the act won’t cover her daughter.

I’m telling you, I’m not sleeping every night thinking about this,” Elain Rodrigues says. “My family tries to support me…but I don’t have a Plan B.”

The Senate Republicans’ plan allows states to drop certain benefits, including maternity care, mental health treatment and emergency services. It also makes cuts to Medicaid.

It’s the cuts to Medicaid that drove people to come speak out against the plan at the Newark Community Health Center.

Many of the clinic’s rooms would not exist without ACA funding. That funding paid for part of the center’s renovation.

“Where are we going to go when they close down?” asks one patient. “We're going to end up right back on the street.”

The clinic works to sign up patients for Affordable Care coverage and Medicaid. The clinic's director Dr. Pamela Clark says that this saves money on care in the long run.

“That gave them the confidence to come to the health center and begin a connection with the primary care provider,” she says. 

Republicans say that the taxpayers wanted relief and that the plan cuts costs by creating a budget for Medicaid and repealing most of the tax increases that came with the ACA.

The Congressional Budget Office has not yet issued an analysis of the bill. A Senate vote could happen as early as next week and President Donald Trump said that he is very supportive of the bill.

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