Senator Merkley visits Laurelhurst Village and other Oregon nursing homes in lead up to potential Medicaid cuts

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley last week toured urban and rural nursing homes, hearing first-hand from administrators, nurses and residents about the critical need to preserve the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans’ “Secret 13” are writing a bill behind closed doors that will likely kick more than 20 million Americans off their health care, while dramatically raising costs for millions more.

At Laurelhurst Village in Portland, many of their long-term care and assisted living residents are able to be at the facility because of the Oregon Health Plan. Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants said that if that assistance was cut, their patients would be without the care they need and deserve.

“The staff members at Laurelhurst Village work hard to provide excellent care to our residents and patients. Many residents living in our community rely on Medicaid as their primary or secondary source of payment,” said Nathan Nielsen, director of operations at the Southeast Portland facility. “While we are unsure exactly what changes would take place if this bill does pass, we know it would greatly affect the residents we care for.”