Peri Erickson, 3, who underwent a liver transplant in which her mother was the living donor, on April 24, 2017 in Aurora . Peri was at Children’s Hospital for a follow-up exam.
Colorado voters overwhelmingly support maintaining Medicaid coverage for kids, even as the U.S. Senate debates a bill that would make steep cuts to the program, according to a new poll commissioned by Children’s Hospital Colorado.
The poll, released Wednesday, found that 85 percent of people surveyed agreed with a statement that, “regardless of whether Obamacare is ultimately repealed or changed, Congress should maintain the longstanding benefits that Medicaid has guaranteed children since 1965.” Support for the statement was strongest among Democrats, but 76 percent of Republicans also agreed with it.
The poll was conducted by The Tarrance Group, a right-leaning polling firm that has worked for Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in the past. It reached 500 registered Colorado voters.
“We have deep-seated concerns about a number of provisions in this bill,” Children’s Colorado CEO Jena Hausmann said in a statement.
Hausmann said she is working with Gardner on changes to the bill, though she said, even if those changes were made, she would not see “eye to eye” with bill supporters. Her statement adds to a growing number of voices from Colorado’s medical community speaking out against the Republicans’ health reform plans. On Tuesday, leaders of the Colorado Hospital Association, the Colorado Medical Society and the state branches of several national health groups held a rally to oppose the GOP’s efforts.
A survey of 743 Colorado doctors that was released at the rally shows that more than 75 percent disapprove of the House’s version of the reform bill, with 79 percent of doctors overall saying they disapprove of “the approach Republican U.S. Senate and House leaders are taking with the nation’s health delivery system.”
“At a minimum, Congress should first do no harm,” Katie Lozano, the president of the Colorado Medical Society, said in a statement. “The Senate bill needs to be methodically thought through, not hurried.”
The GOP bills — known as the American Health Care Act in the House and the Better Care Reconciliation Act in the Senate — would both make significant cuts to Medicaid over the next decade compared to current law. The nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute estimates the bills would reduce federal Medicaid funding in Colorado a total of $14 to $15 billion by 2030, and more than 600,000 fewer Coloradans would be covered by Medicaid by 2030 compared to what would be covered under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In Colorado, Medicaid currently covers more than 1.3 million people, about 45 percent of whom are children and young adults age 20 and under.