Keep health protections for Libby

Print Article

Libby asbestos victims got some welcome news earlier this month when it became known the proposed American Health Care Act — the Republicans’ repeal-and-replace bill for the Affordable Care Act — will preserve special provisions for the victims of asbestos exposure from the former W.R. Grace & Co. vermiculite mine in Libby.

We applaud Sen. Steve Daines for pushing congressional leaders to keep the medical-care benefits for asbestos patients that were put in effect in 2011 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Those special provisions provide ongoing screening and enable anyone diagnosed with asbestos disease linked to Libby to access Medicare. A third provision created a pilot program that provides medical and home care not covered by Medicare.

The Libby provisions, as they’re called, have benefited thousands of people. Since 2011, 4,500 new individuals have been screened for asbestos disease at the CARD clinic in Libby, and more than 2,000 were diagnosed with asbestos-related disease. A total of 1,846 asbestos victims under 65 have accessed Medicare and about 1,300 patients are using the pilot program.

It makes all the sense in the world to keep these special measures in place in any law that replaces the so-called Obamacare. But who knows what the outcome will be as the battle for a replacement bill heats up.

The American Health Care Act, or Trumpcare, has been criticized as a large tax cut for the wealthy, paid for largely with Medicaid cuts. There’s also the allegation that under Trumpcare, people in states that voted heavily for President Donald Trump could wind up paying way more for insurance. Others maintain more than 24 million Americans will lose their coverage under the bill as it’s currently proposed.

It’s possible that Trumpcare already is dead on arrival since many conservative Republicans oppose it, but we dearly hope the current proposal is at least a starting point for a better way to allow all Americans to affordably access health care. When all is said and done, the replacement for Obamacare also needs to retain the Libby provisions.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

A bus for the vets: Can you help?

May 11, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake There are many ways we can give back to our veterans, and a new project surfaced this week that has us jumping on board. Longtime Montana Veterans Home volunteer Dianna Bennett is spearheading a fun...

Comments

Read More

Election mission: Study up and vote!

May 06, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake And the race is on. There seems to be a high level of interest in this year’s primary election, from county contests to state and federal races. The Daily Inter Lake has been publishing articles abo...

Comments

Read More

Commissioner Gipe was all about service

May 04, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake We were saddened to learn of the recent death at age 86 of Howard Gipe, the longest-serving county commissioner in the history of Flathead County. Gipe served three terms, from 1987 to 2004, and was...

Comments

Read More

Sticker shock may be bar to jail project

April 29, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake We’re guessing there were a lot of jaws dropping last week as Flathead folks learned the cost of building a new jail and parking garage next to the Flathead County Justice Center is an estimated $74 ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X