AHA Statement on Senate “Medicare for All” Proposal


Tom Nickels
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association


April 10, 2019


America’s hospitals and health systems share the goal of achieving universal coverage for all Americans. However, “Medicare for All,” while promising a one-size-fits-all solution, would instead take away choice from millions of Americans and put access to vital health care services at risk.

A recent study found that even a less extensive, government-run, Medicare-like health plan offered on the individual exchange could disrupt employer coverage for millions of people while creating unsustainable financial losses for hospitals to the tune of $800 billion.

In addition, Medicare today pays hospitals less than the cost of providing care for patients. In 2017, the government paid only 87 cents for every dollar spent by hospitals caring for Medicare patients—a shortfall of $53.9 billion. In the President’s FY 2020 budget, the administration proposed $160 billion in new cuts to Medicare payments to hospitals. These unsustainable cuts raise the question of whether the government can be entrusted as the sole payer for more than 300 million Americans.

Hospitals and health systems know that there is a better, less disruptive path to health coverage for all Americans. We believe that we must build on the current public-private system by expanding Medicaid in non-expansion states; stabilizing the insurance exchanges by restoring cost-sharing subsidies for low-income consumers and implementing well-designed reinsurance programs; increasing subsidies to more lower-income people wanting to purchase private coverage on the marketplaces; and funding efforts to help consumers enroll in health plans.

We will continue working with policymakers to ensure that every person has access to quality, affordable care.






Arika Trim, (202) 626-2319 atrim@aha.org        

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




Related Resources

Fact Sheets
The mission of each and every hospital in America is to serve the health care needs of the people in its community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But,…
Special Bulletin
The House Appropriations Committee today released a continuing resolution that, in general, extends current government funding levels through Dec. 11. The bill…
The AHA requests that the Department of Health and Human Services revise certain FAQs that place problematic restrictions on the use of some CARES Act Provider…
AHA Advocacy Update Podcast. Listen to AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack and Executive Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy Tom Nickels…
Special Bulletin
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Sept. 2 issued its hospital inpatient prospective payment system (PPS) and long-term care hospital (…
Special Bulletin
As part of AHA’s We Care, We Vote initiative, the association is releasing a new toolkit with resources that hospital and health system leaders can use to…