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Bill Would Give the Poor Access to Medical Care and Save Billions in Government Healthcare Costs

Posted on Friday, September 18, 2020
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by AMAC, John Grimaldi
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healthcareWASHINGTON, DC, Sep 18 — “The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus pandemic has made healthcare a ‘top of mind’ issue for most Americans, particularly among low-income citizens.  “And, it has put a new focus on the 2020 Physician Pro Bono Care Act currently under consideration in Congress,” according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

The legislation was designed to increase both choice and access to quality healthcare for the Nation’s underprivileged.  It would also save billions in government outlays for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP].

Bob Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action, the association’s advocacy affiliate, says he is encouraged by the bi-partisan support the measure has attracted among lawmakers.  “The measure was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) and Colin Peterson (D-MN) and has garnered a growing list of co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, perhaps because of its simplicity,” he noted.

It would allow physicians, dentists, and other healthcare providers to take a straightforward charitable tax deduction for providing pro-bono healthcare to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients. By moving low-income patients from emergency rooms to offices and clinics, this legislation could save billions in government healthcare costs.

As Congressman Webster put it when the bill was introduced: “This bill removes government bureaucracy and red-tape that obstructs the patient-doctor relationship, and it expands access to doctors for some of the more vulnerable in our society.”  Representative Peterson called it an “important reform.”

By providing physicians with a charitable deduction for treating Medicaid and CHIP eligible patients in their communities, this legislation will provide low-income families and individuals greater access to healthcare. Additionally, this concept avoids the administratively burdensome and costly reimbursement processes of both Medicaid and CHIP, if a physician chooses to use it.

As for its appeal among the healthcare community, Carlstrom explained that a survey conducted by AMAC showed that members of associations representing 350,000 doctors and nurse practitioners would be willing to participate in such a plan.  It means that, if each of them took on 20 eligible patients, seven million needy patients who would be covered.

“The net benefits would be that the low-income population, including many senior citizens, would have free access to quality healthcare from doctors they choose and the nation, as a whole, would save money.  In fact, it is estimated that the government could save as much as $40.0 billion a year, and maybe more, in Medicaid payments and costly emergency room visits, the ‘go-to’ alternative for people who can’t afford to pay medical fees,” says Carlstrom.

About AMAC Action

AMAC Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization created to assist Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] members with grassroots participation on Capitol Hill and at the local level through its advocacy programs.

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Mary A. moss
Mary A. moss
3 years ago

This sounds like a good bill!! The I’m not a robot needs to disappear!!

Joseph
Joseph
3 years ago

If they took 40 patients a year, it would be fewer than one a week. That would allow for 12 “free” weeks.

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Terry Morton
Terry Morton
3 years ago

This was a very wonderful and refreshing article to read! Thank you so very much Bill for all the information you put out for us. We feel very blessed to be a part of AMAC!

B J
B J
3 years ago

Sounds practical and economical; too bad that is anathema to congressional preference.

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar
3 years ago

Even though I think some doctors will take more “charitable tax deduction’ than they are entitled to (some, not all), the plan makes perfect sense. That’s why we’ll never see it.

American Believer
American Believer
3 years ago

This is an excellent solution to so many healthcare concerns. Sadly it requires our inept narcissistic Washington Representatives to legislate it into law so we’ll never see it come to fruition.

Dawn Pence
Dawn Pence
3 years ago

However, it’s not really saving the govt money because the drs are getting tax deductions, meaning they wont be paying in as much, therefore causing the govt tax revenue loss. Hence, the govt is still losing money, just not as an expenditure, but as an income loss.

Martin Pfister
Martin Pfister
3 years ago

I read a letter in the paper from a doctor in which he said that he’d provide pro bono services
if he could credit them against his paid services. Sounds like this bill would bring this to fruition.

Marla Bennett
Marla Bennett
3 years ago

this sounds great I hope if it comes to a vote the support stays nonpartisan.

Optimist
Optimist
3 years ago

Sounds like a win-win and bi-partisan. Surely they can agree on this.

Charlotte A Mahin
Charlotte A Mahin
3 years ago

Sounds like a good plan. Assuming Trump gets re-elected (and I think he will), I am sure the Democrats in their infinite hate for Trump will fight it. They cannot let him have any wins!

Gary Albert
Gary Albert
3 years ago

I totally disagree because nothing in government is sacred and they will find ways to tax those MD’s and remove the tax deduction. Governments motto from the beginning of time is “vote for me and I will give it to you for free”. Time to really fix the problem. How about Medicaid clinics that anyone can go to, however, you must show you tax return to verify income. Even the poor can afford $1.00 for open heart surgery. Rules have to be made that all have to abide by so cost can be contained and people can have access to good care. It is really not that complicated if we truly work together. There is more to my idea that would do both. We must keep government direct control out of it or it will continue to be a political issue. Time for us to help the poor not remain poor and totally dependent.

Heide Rendleman
Heide Rendleman
3 years ago

My husband works in the medical field. He thinks that this sounds like socialized medicine.

Sam
Sam
3 years ago

OUR gubmint? Doing something for US and not THEMSELVES?! Working TOGETHER for the benefit of the COUNTRY?!! We will never see this come to fruition……..

Patty Williams
Patty Williams
3 years ago

I want to share this on FB!!

Joanna Johnson-Smith
Joanna Johnson-Smith
3 years ago

It’s a HUGE step in the right direction!!!!

joan sullivan
joan sullivan
3 years ago

Is there any hope for lower rx prices? I have one I must take that is $500/month with rx insurance.
Without it is $2,000 a month.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

And who is working on Tort Reform so that some of those costs don’t increase with the increased access??

A. D Roberts
A. D Roberts
3 years ago

I don’t care who you are. Any time ANYONE says that a new health care plan would save the government money, THEY ARE LYING.
FACT: There is NOT enough money in the world to provide everyone with the ultimate, maximum amount of health care.
I am a degreed mathematician. And I KNOW that there simply is not enough especially with giant takers like CEOs of insurance companies, CEOs of hospital chains, and lawyers.

A. D Roberts
A. D Roberts
3 years ago

Oh, and there are NOT enough doctors. Have you tried o get in to see a doctor lately. The wait WILL get as long as it is in Canada and England where you WILL wait up to six months for a heart cath.

Diane Gentile
Diane Gentile
3 years ago

Many retirees end up being low income and existing on 20-25k annually. Dentists and healthcare becomes expensive and unavailble to us who are o on social security and small retirements as it to those who are receiving medicaide as well. Yet I never see this group of people included in the considerations mentioned in the article.
Why are we overlooked? We are the smartest, healthiest and most numerous retirement generation in our country’s history yet nobody has the scope to not only address our needs but also organize to involve us in the solutions that our dear president and teams are designing. Please market us to both discussions so that cost -savings health and dental solutions become available to us and so that we can become part of the solutions for our country.

Thank you for your consideration
Diane Gentile

Adeline Cilurso
Adeline Cilurso
3 years ago

The artical states Medicaid and children. Would it also cover low income on Medicare??

T L Weaver
T L Weaver
3 years ago

Before Obama Care I and many others had better coverage and treatment than those on welfare. Now, with no choice of my on, coverage and treatment is worse than those on welfare. Only in America! And Cuba and Canada and Britain and ….

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