Portlanders fear Medicaid cuts under new health bill

“Medicaid is the reason I get caregiver hours from the state," one person said

Portlanders fear Medicaid cuts under a new Senate health care bill, June 26, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As the Republican-led Senate prepares to vote on a new health care bill, the Congressional Budget Office predicts — if it passes — over 22 million Americans will lose their insurance over the next 10 years.

The CBO claims the new bill will reduce the budget deficit by $321 billion over the next decade, a majority of which will come from cuts in Medicaid spending.

Today, Portland Medicaid recipients took to Blue Cross & Blue Shield headquarters to protest some of the company’s campaign contributions to top GOP lawmakers who are leading the effort to replace Obamacare.

Tess Rauing, an Oregon Medicaid recipient, told KOIN 6 News the proposed cuts would personally affect them.

“Medicaid is the reason I get caregiver hours from the state so I can live in my home independently and work,” they said.

Maig Bergio attended a protest on the day the new Senate health care bill was announced, June 26, 2017. (KOIN)

Maig Bergio, of the Coverage Defense Committee, also attended the protest. According to Bergio, Blue Cross & Blue Shield donated over $72,000 to Mitch McConnell, one of the leading lawmakers in the effort to replace Obamacare.

But Blue Cross of Oregon disputed that claim, saying their top donations have gone to local Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The White House is also disputing claims about the new Senate health care bill, arguing that there are no plans to make cuts to Medicaid.

Although there are 54 Senate Republicans, and only 50 votes are needed to pass the bill, some top party lawmakers question whether it would benefit their states.

One of the skeptics, Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ) said, “we have a lot of issues right now. The governor’s initial impression is that it’s not helpful to the state.”

Without all Republicans on board, if the bill does pass, it would be by narrow margins.