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Heading Into the Ninth

By Rick Pollack
July 14, 2017

Last month, we urged the Senate to go back to the drawing board after its original proposal included dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program and the loss of health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans.

If enacted, the Better Care Reconciliation Act would mean real consequences for real people – among them people with chronic conditions such as cancer, individuals with disabilities who need long-term services and support, and the elderly.

Unfortunately, in the latest update released this week, the same central flaws of the BCRA remain unchanged. And there are no significant changes to its massive Medicaid reductions.

In baseball, three strikes mean you’re out. Because 50 of 52 Senate Republicans need to vote “yes” for the BCRA to pass, or even to bring it up for a vote, if just three Republican senators oppose it, the BCRA will strike out. That would provide the opportunity for policymakers and stakeholders to regroup and work in a bipartisan, constructive manner to make the much-needed repairs and refinements to current policy that can stand the test of time.

In the meantime, we’re asking you to do whatever you can to convince senators to protect coverage. Hospital leaders can urge their employees, trustees and others to reach out to their senators – especially if they are Republican – and urge them to oppose the “motion to proceed” on BCRA or similar legislation.

Instead of merely tweaking a proposal that would harm our most vulnerable, we again call on the Senate to advance a solution aimed at protecting coverage for all Americans who currently have it. Instead of merely putting forth an update, we again call on the Senate to put forth an upgrade.

We’ve focused our advocacy efforts on this issue for months – now we’re heading into the ninth inning of the game. The Senate could vote as early as next week. Please do your part to oppose the BCRA and help protect coverage for millions of patients.

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, advocacy, Medicaid, access

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



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