The AHA cannot support the latest proposed amendment to the American Health Care Act, which would continue to jeopardize health coverage for many Americans, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said today. “Our top concern is what this change could mean for older and sicker patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer patients and those with chronic conditions. For these reasons, along with our previously stated concerns about the AHCA, we cannot support the bill. However, we urge Congress to continue to work with stakeholders on a solution that provides meaningful coverage. The amendment proposed this week would dramatically worsen the bill. The changes included put consumer protections at greater risk by allowing states to waive the essential health benefit standards, which could leave patients without access to critical health services and increase out-of-pocket spending. This could allow plans to set premium prices based on individual risk for some consumers, which could significantly raise costs for those with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the amendment. However, CBO previously projected that the AHCA would result in 24 million fewer people covered in 2026. It is unlikely this amendment would improve these coverage estimates. As the backbone of America’s health safety-net, hospitals and health systems must protect access to care for those who need it and ensure that the most vulnerable patients are not left behind. The AHCA continues to fall far short of that goal.” AHA members received a Special Bulletin yesterday summarizing the amendment.