HONESDALE - Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) visited Wayne Memorial Hospital on Saturday, July 1, to discuss the potential impact of new healthcare legislation on the hospital and its patients.

He also toured the hospital’s new cardiac catheterization lab, its maternity unit and Emergency Department (ED). The Senate’s current bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act would result in widespread Medicaid expansion cuts and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the loss of health insurance for 22 million Americans. Senator Casey said the bill gives tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans while taking healthcare away from the poorest. He called it “obscene.”

WMH CEO David Hoff said the bill would drive more people into the ED without the means to pay for that care, forcing the hospital to incur more debt and possibly affect services. “We sure hope the bill does not go through in its current form. It would be very damaging to this hospital and the community we serve,” Hoff told WBRE-TV. PA’s other Senator, Patrick Toomey (R ), disagrees.

According to his weekly newsletter, the bill “is not perfect, but it is a positive step toward repairing the damages caused by Obamacare. The bill also puts Medicaid on a sustainable fiscal path so this vital safety net is available for future generations.” The Senate is expected to revisit the bill after the July recess.

The meeting at WMH was attended by WMH administrators, WMH/WMHS Board Chair Dirk Mumford, Wayne County Commissioner Wendell Kay and representatives from Wayne County Children & Youth and Wayne County Behavioral and Developmental Programs and Early Intervention.