The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing on “Pathways to Universal Health Coverage,” which debated various options to expand access to health coverage, ranging from Medicare for All to improving existing coverage. 
 
In a letter to committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), AHA said, “America’s hospitals and health systems are committed to the goal of affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every American and believe we should build upon and improve our existing system to increase access to coverage and comprehensive health benefits. However, we have concerns with ‘Medicare for All’ and believe that the variety of proposals that often are used interchangeably under that name are not the solution. … The better path to achieving comprehensive coverage for all Americans lies in continuing to build on the progress made over the past decade.”
 
For example, the letter notes AHA support for efforts to expand Medicaid in non-expansion states; provide federal subsidies for more lower- and middle-income individuals and families; reinstitute funding for marketplace cost-sharing subsidies and reinsurance mechanisms; and robust efforts to enroll consumers in coverage.
 
Ranking Member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, also expressed concern with Medicare for All.
 
“Since doctors and hospitals lose money on nearly every treatment they provide in Medicare, experts predict that Medicare-for-All will cause a chronic shortage of doctors, and hospital overcrowding will be an epidemic,” he said.
 
Testifying at the hearing were a patient advocate and representatives from Manatt Health, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Galen Institute and Kaiser Family Foundation.
 

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