Federal Tax Cuts Threaten Health Care Availability

Health care advocate Dr. Zigmund Kozicki outlines the effects of tax cuts on Great Lakes Bay Region health care. (WSGW News photo by Bill Hewittt)

As Congress works to resolve difference between the House of Representatives and Senate tax bills, America faces a potential health care crisis. A health care advocate Doctor Zigmund Kozicki says an expected increase in the U.S. budget deficit would trigger automatic sequester of key programs, like Medicare. Kozicki estimates the federal Medicare budget could see a $25 billion cut next year. It could mean 35 Michigan hospitals may be forced to close.

During a Friday morning news conference Kozicki presented a list of 54 Michigan hospitals at risk including seven in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The list includes one area medical facility in a stressed condition and two in sound condition. Kozicki’s list is based on reviews of annual reports. WSGW News is attempting to get reaction from administrators of these hospitals.

Those closures would mean additional people seeking services at the remaining hospitals with longer wait times for key services and beds. Across the country, 1,100 hospitals could close because of these budget cuts. Those hospitals provide over 1.8 million service days other hospitals would have difficulty serving those patients.

The tax cut bill included the removal of the Obama Care health insurance mandate and subsidies people could use to buy health care insurance. Kozicki pointed to an estimated 13 million people would lose health insurance.

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