BEND, OR -- A number of influential national doctor and hospital groups have come out in opposition to the Republican plan to reform the Affordable Care Act. Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie is a doctor and tells KBND News, "Currently, what we're looking at is not in any way, shape or form a replacement. It's just sort of decreased coverage in a lousy, ineffective kind of bill. If we do away with subsidies, we reduce people's amount of coverage, and people do a couple different things: they get sicker, they go to the ER more, they cost more money to the system as a whole."
He says the GOP plan appears to pass many costs - like those associated with expanding Medicaid for low-income people - back to states. "It would effectively cap the reimbursement that comes from the federal government, putting more on Oregon and therefore putting more on an already constrained budget, which then results in what? Do we cut healthcare? Do we cut education? Do we just sort of take people off the rolls? It's really not a good solution for people who go to my clinic. This would be a decrease in healthcare coverage. People would be paying more and getting less."
Boddie adds Obmacare increased the number of insured Oregonians from 83% to 92%. "It's important not to underestimate the effect that the ACA has had. It has flattened off the healthcare cost curve. In other words, we were spending at an exponential rate, year after year, increasing those costs. And, it's really flattened out, which is what we wanted. So, it's actually had a beneficial effect. The question is, how do we bend that curve further." He believes that instead of cutting healthcare funding, government should work to make it more efficient by following Oregon's example, where Coordinated Care Organizations have helped lower costs for care.