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Coverage is Key

By Rick Pollack
March 10, 2017

This week, House Republicans unveiled a bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. While we continue to work with lawmakers on advancing our health care system, we cannot support this bill in its current form. Our primary concern for health reform has always been maintaining coverage. It is vital that the tens of millions of Americans who have gained coverage through the ACA not be left behind. So far, it’s unclear how many may lose coverage under this new legislation, because the Congressional Budget Office—the independent arbiter of what bills cost—has not yet provided its analysis. We urged Congress to wait for CBO before proceeding. But we do know that this bill appears to restructure Medicaid with the effect of making significant coverage and financial reductions to a program designed to serve our most vulnerable populations. It also repeals much of the funding currently dedicated to providing coverage in the future, while leaving in place many of the reductions to payments for hospital services. This will leave many hospitals unable to provide the wide range of services that patients expect and deserve. Health coverage is vitally important to working Americans and their families. We urge Congress to act to protect them by finding ways to maintain coverage for as many people as possible. The legislative process is long, with twists and turns, and we recognize that the bill that receives a final vote may well look different from the bill we see today. And we look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration on necessary, common-sense steps to improve health care. But we cannot support the bill congressional Republicans propose in its current form.

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, advocacy, access

Richard J. (Rick) Pollack is the President and CEO of the American Hospital Association.



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