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Republicans criticize Biden's 'evil' plan to cut hospital funding from poor areas in red states to help fund his $1.8trillion Build Back Better bill

  Republican Sen. Rick Scott of   Florida   on Monday accused President Biden's Build Back Better bill of attempting to push through ...

 Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida on Monday accused President Biden's Build Back Better bill of attempting to push through 'evil' cuts on charity hospitals in largely right-leaning states.

Scott said the House version of the bill would cut two forms of funding for hospitals that serve uninsured and underinsured patients in order to pay for provisions in Democrats' 1.8 trillion spending bill.

And he said it would disproportionately impact Republican states. 

'It doesn’t add up,' Scott told the Washington Times

'I just think that it’s evil. It’s mean-spirited. 

'The Democrats are taking care of the people in New York or Illinois or Connecticut and taking advantage of the people in places like Florida or Texas.' 

The latest version of the bill includes a provision that would cut Disproportionate Share Hospital payments by 12.5 percent across 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage.  

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of Florida
President Joe Biden

Sen Tim Scott of Florida accused Democrats of an 'evil' and 'mean spirited' attempt to choke off funding to hospitals in red states that support underinsured Americans as they try to push through President Joe Biden's huge social spending plans in the Build Back Better bill

Scott wrote to hospital executives in his state asking for their help in fighting the plans

Scott wrote to hospital executives in his state asking for their help in fighting the plans

In a recent letter, Scott cites forecasts by the non-partisan Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission which calculates the cuts would amount to about $423 million.

'With annual cuts totaling more than $420 million, over a ten year period, 12 states will see a $4.2 billion cut to charity hospitals whose work is predominately focused on treating the underserved and uninsured,' Scott wrote to hospital executives.

He also said Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Kansas will lose money from their Uncompensated Care Pools - which covers unpaid bills, the cost of uninsured people using emergency rooms, and charity care - worth as much as $35 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

'Making cuts to these valued and incredibly important programs defies reason,' he wrote.

Defenders of the proposals disagree. They say the plans include $59.3 billion to subsidize private insurance and help people caught in the gap where they earn too much for Medicaid but are too poor to benefit from the Affordable Care Act.  

The idea is to extend health insurance to about 2.2 million people living in the mostly GOP-led states that have not pursued Obamacare's Medicaid expansion 

The White House describes its plans as the 'biggest expansion of affordable healthcare in a decade.'  

Pence speaks on inflation, criticizes Biden's Build Back Better plan
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Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia
Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia - another state affected by the cuts

Democrats have also raised concerns about the proposals, including Sens. Raphael Warnock (left) and Jon Ossoff of Georgia - another GOP-leaning state that will be affected

It is not just Republicans raising the alarm, however. 

Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff headed a group of Georgia lawmakers who wrote to their party leaders in the House and Senate to express their concern.

'The DSH program assists hospitals that serve a high Medicaid and uncompensated care population and is meant to support hospitals for treating the most vulnerable patients,' they said. 

'Reducing federal funds to hospitals and providers can be detrimental to their survival, and in the midst of a global pandemic, we should not be imposing additional financial constraints.'

The final Senate version of the bill is likely to be different to the House version in an effort to woo Democratic holdouts such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.  

A draft released by the Senate Finance Committee did not include cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments. 

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