Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., today introduced the Medicare for All Act, legislation that would establish a national health insurance program to provide universal coverage to U.S. residents. Among other provisions, the bill would make it unlawful for a private health insurer or employer to provide the same health insurance benefits as the new program. It also includes payments to hospitals on a global budget. The legislation does not include a cost estimate.
 
"America's hospitals and health systems are working with policymakers to help expand coverage and improve affordability for all Americans," said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. "However, we are opposed to 'Medicare for All,' as it would impede our shared goals."
 
Specifically, AHA cited concerns that the proposal would disrupt coverage for the more than 180 million Americans with employer-sponsored health plans, hinder delivery system reforms and threaten access to care, noting that Congress has a history of slashing provider payments for government health programs and that Medicare and Medicaid reimburse providers less than the cost of delivering care.
 
"The AHA believes there is a better alternative to help all Americans access health coverage – one built on fixing our existing system rather than ripping it apart and starting from scratch," Nickels said. "In addition to expanding Medicaid in the remaining non-expansion states, we support strengthening the marketplaces to improve their stability and affordability, and increasing enrollment efforts to connect people to coverage."

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