AHA Comments on “Medicare for All”

Tom Nickels

Executive Vice President

American Hospital Association

 

February 27, 2019

 

America’s hospitals and health systems are working with policymakers to help expand coverage and improve affordability for all Americans. However, we are opposed to “Medicare for All,” as it would impede our shared goals.

To start, a one-size-fits-all approach would disrupt coverage for the more than 180 million Americans who are covered by employer-sponsored health plans. That coverage, and plans sold on the marketplaces, offer benefits that Medicare doesn’t. Importantly, enrollees in these plans are protected from catastrophic costs.


Further, the government can be an unreliable business partner, as we just witnessed with the longest partial government shutdown in our nation’s history. Congress also has a history of slashing provider payments for government health programs to meet its budgetary goals.
 

Additionally, important delivery system reforms to improve care, enhance quality and reduce costs would no longer be a priority once government controls all payments to providers.

Finally, public programs like Medicare and Medicaid reimburse providers less than the cost of delivering care for patients, which exacerbates access problems.

 

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. 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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Contact:       Colin Milligan (202) 638-5491 cmilligan@aha.org

 

 

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