In the 2018 mid-term elections, voters made it clear that health care is an important issue to them. And near the top of their list of concerns was the affordability of health care services.
Likewise, government and payers are seeking greater value for their health care dollars. And concerns around the affordability of health care will only grow as overall health care spending continues to rise to meet the needs of an aging America.
The court’s December 2018 ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional only adds to consumers’ concerns. Although nothing will change as the case is appealed, the uncertainty about the ACA’s fate could cause further instability in the health insurance market.
America’s hospitals and health systems understand – and share – consumers’ concerns. We will not shy away from this challenge; instead, we have been tackling it head on, taking steps to redesign care and implement operational efficiencies. But we can’t do it alone. Every stakeholder – hospitals, other providers, insurers, drug companies, device makers, the government and patients – have a role to play in this effort.
The American Hospital Association’s 2019 public policy advocacy agenda seeks to continue to positively influence the public policy environment for patients, communities and the health care field. We will work hand in hand with our members; the state, regional and metropolitan hospital associations; national health care organizations; and other stakeholders to develop and implement an advocacy strategy to fulfill our vision.
Specifically, we urge Congress and the Administration to:
- Sustain the gains in health coverage
- Protect patient access to care
- Advance health system transformation
- Enhance quality and patient safety
- Promote regulatory relief
- Strengthen the workforce