When the 115th Congress convenes January 3, repealing the Affordable Care Act will be a priority for the Republican leadership. It’s unclear, however, if Congress will repeal the ACA while simultaneously pairing it with legislation to guarantee coverage for those who will lose it, or if it will pass repeal legislation with a transition period to allow for a future replacement plan. The hospital community’s top priority, without a doubt, is to ensure coverage for the 21 million Americans who gained it under the ACA. With January 3 approaching quickly, now is the time for hospital leaders to contact their members of Congress and urge them to continue to provide health coverage for these folks as part of any effort to repeal and replace the ACA. If Congress decides to repeal the ACA without simultaneously providing similar coverage, however, it is imperative that they also act to restore all the funding reductions to Medicare and Medicaid payments for hospital services that were included in the ACA. After all, these funding reductions were originally passed to help provide coverage. Alternatively, Congress should preserve the savings achieved through repeal in order to fund a future replacement bill. Ultimately, if Congress does not act to preserve coverage or to restore these cuts, many hospitals will not have the resources they need to care for patients, many of whom will lack insurance if ACA is repealed. That would be disastrous for patients and for hospitals. We can’t afford to slide backwards in our journey towards an America where everybody can reach their highest potential for health. Please contact your members of Congress and encourage them to act to ensure hospitals are able to provide the care patients need and deserve.

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