As you know, America’s hospitals and health systems are deeply disappointed in the House passage of the American Health Care Act because we believe it will jeopardize health coverage for millions of Americans. We are particularly concerned about the impact it would have on our most vulnerable citizens – older Americans, children, the disabled, and those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and chronic conditions.
While it’s unclear what the next steps will be as it relates to repeal, replace and repair – and how it might be revised and revisited – we call on the Senate to reset the discussion and reject the House bill as a starting point.
We believe that any changes to the Affordable Care Act must be guided by making certain that we continue to provide coverage for the tens of millions of Americans who have benefited from the law.
We believe that any legislation must be viewed through this lens – and carefully evaluated regarding its impact on both individuals and the ability of hospitals and health systems to care for all who walk through our doors.
As the Senate deliberates, we must advocate for the following:
- Maintain coverage for all individuals currently insured;
- Protect those with pre-existing conditions and ensure they can afford meaningful coverage to get the care they need;
- The ACA should not be repealed without a simultaneous replacement guaranteeing adequate coverage;
- Ensure that Medicaid restructuring is not used as a vehicle to make budget cuts to an already underfunded program; and
- No further Medicare and Medicaid reductions in payments for hospital and health system services.
This week, hospitals and health systems from across the country gathered in our nation’s capital for AHA’s Annual Membership Meeting and they visited Capitol Hill to deliver this very message. Make sure your senators know where we stand as we begin to shape the next stage of this historic process.