The following video comes from the website of the National Association of Childrens Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and I beg of you to spend the two minutes required to watch it.
Then TAKE ACTION
What are the risks if medicaid is cut?
As you saw on the video, one in three children in this country depend upon Medicaid for their health care. We all save money by helping children to stay healthy. Children use up only a fraction of the total costs of Medicaid and are not the reason that our country's health care expenditures are out of control. When children do not get access to primary care and preventive services, they can get very sick, landing in our emergency rooms, and Pediatric ICUs. Then they require high cost care, and should they survive, are likely to have ongoing issues that cost even more to care for.
What are the risks if funding for Graduate Medical Education in Children's Hospitals is cut?
Those hospitals which train the majority of the country's pediatricians and pediatric specialists, will either have to cut back significantly on how many residents and fellows are trained, or potentially stop training them altogether. Or they will have to make significant cuts in other programs to continue to afford to train them. The great majority of pediatricians accept patients who have medicaid as their primary insurer, at least to some extent. Also, many children's hospitals training programs provide the safety net care that many of the poor on medicaid rely upon. To be clear, Carilion's Graduate Medical Education programs will not be directly affected, because the legislation ONLY affects Graduate Medical Education in what are known as "free standing" children's hospitals. In Virginia, the only institution directly affected is Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD). Nonetheless, it would be devastating to see them, Children's National in DC, Boston Children's, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, etc lose the money they need to ensure our nation's future with regard to children's health care providers. Subspecialists like pediatric neurologists (brain and nervous system), cardiologists(heart), gastroenterologists(GI tract) and pulmonologists (lungs) are almost always educated in those free standing children's hospitals. These subspecialists are already in short supply. Many of our s families have to wait months to see the few that we have here in Roanoke. Imagine what the wait would be like if we stop training new ones.
That's a pretty scary future.
The combined effects of potential cuts in Medicaid combined with the potential devastating cuts to Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) could really set our country back in terms of the health of our population.
If children are indeed our future, shouldn't we act like that is the case?
How do you take action?
Click this link to go to the NACHRI legislative action web page. There you can enter your zip code and be able to send a letter to the appropriate legislators in your district. Or you can use any other means you know to contact your Senators and Congressperson.
Let me know how you feel about this post. I suspect that not all of you will agree with me. Let's discuss. For others who DO agree, can you suggest other approaches to the problem?