Advocates warn of Medicaid cut with ObamaCare repeal

Representatives from 20 different Texas health care organizations gathered Thursday at people's community clinic. They came with a black box, which symbolized the mostly unknown details in the latest effort to replace ObamaCare.

"We have a pretty good idea what’s inside that black box, and so we are here to take it out of the box and shine some light on it,” said Patrick Bresette with Children’s Defense Fund.

That light includes letters sent Thursday to Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

They're a warning that if the new reform proposal to replace ObamaCare really involves taking money out of Medicaid, services in Texas could lose $1.7 billion dollars every year.

"We are frightened, we are scared, you are ripping out the infrastructure that keeps us in our community,” said Bob Kafka with the support group ADAPT.

Along with services for people with disabilities, it’s argued that budget cuts may also hit several other important programs. Things like doctor visits for low income children, mental health and substance abuse treatments as well as care for pregnant women.

Coalition members, like Stephanie Rubin with Texans Care for Children, clearly felt blindsided. "Why reform of the ObamaCare healthcare act has turned into a gutting of Medicaid is beyond comprehension,” said Rubin.

It’s estimated that the majority of Texans currently enrolled in Medicaid are children. The advocates also warn to make up for the cuts local communities, health districts and schools will have to increase taxes.

If some of these voices sound vaguely familiar and it seems as if we've been down this path before, you just may be right. When the original Health Care Reform Act was being drafted, some members of Congress complained they didn't get a chance to read the bill before voting on it.

Now there is concern the same mistake is happening again.

A spokesman for Senator Ted Cruz sent a statement to FOX 7. Phil Novack said;

"Sen. Cruz is committed to fighting for health care reform that puts patients first, that expands access to care and that establishes more affordable health care options for Texans in every corner of our state."

A spokesperson for Senator John Cornyn was not able to provide a statement regarding the coalition's letter. FOX 7 was given audio from a Wednesday conference call Senator Cornyn held with reporters.

"As we get closer to consensus on the best solution my goal continues to make sure Texans have more choice and more affordable coverage and end the mandates and the tax hikes that have caused premiums to skyrocket,” said Senator Cornyn.

With a vote on a Senate reform plan possible before the July 4th congressional break political pressure continues to build like a long overdue checkup. That pressure is expected to create more anxiety until the unknown is revealed and formal debate begins over whether or not the proposed cure is the right prescription.

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