Congress returns to Washington next week, and in the Senate, repeal and replace is the number-one legislative priority. Now is the time for the entire hospital and health system family everywhere to urge their senators to reject the American Health Care Act, already passed by the House. A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates that 23 million fewer Americans would have health care coverage in 10 years under the AHCA.

The clock is ticking: the Senate may vote on legislation before the month is out. Please contact your senators immediately – especially Republican senators – given that the “reconciliation” process being used to consider this legislation requires only 51 votes for passage. Please urge them to reject the AHCA. Tell them the personal story of your community and what health care coverage means for the patients and communities your hospital or health system serves.

Hospitals and health systems employ nearly 5 million people. Let’s use our collective voice to send a strong message to policymakers that coverage for our friends, neighbors and loved ones may be at risk.

To help you send that message, look for new tools and resources from the AHA next week. And look for new TV, radio and digital ads from the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care – an online community, 1.4 million members strong, that seeks to protect care and ensure that hospitals have the resources needed to provide high-quality care to our communities.

Passing the AHCA would be a step backward on the path to a society of healthier communities. Let’s keep moving forward. Our patients are depending on us.