Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) accepted the AHA Honorary Life Membership Award for her contributions to hospitals and health care in America. Collins, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging and is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has regularly worked in a bipartisan manner to advocate for common sense, meaningful policies that promote access to care.
During her address, Collins said that without congressional action insurance rates in the individual markets will “skyrocket this fall, and this will directly hurt the 9 million Americans who pay for their own insurance without government or employer assistance.” She said that we must “work together across party lines to develop health care reforms that work for all Americans.”
[For additional highlights from the AHA Annual Membership meeting, click here.]
Collins referenced recent congressional proposals to appropriate $10 billion a year from 2019 to 2021 to extend cost-sharing reductions and reinsurance for the individual health insurance market would expand health coverage to an additional 3.2 million people and lower premiums by at least 40%, according to an analysis by consultants at Oliver Wyman. She also discussed the Lower Premiums Through Reinsurance Act (S. 1835), which she introduced with Sen. Bill Nelson.
Collins also spoke passionately about the need to support small rural hospitals.
AHA board member Michelle Hood, president and CEO of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, and former AHA board member Kris Doody, CEO of Cary Medical Center presented Collins with the award.