Hospitals Coalesce Into Formidable Opponent Of Obamacare Repeal Bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, as the GOP works on its long-awaited pla... House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, as the GOP works on its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. MORE LESS

Flexing their muscle in the political battle over Obamacare repeal, a coalition of of hospital groups and systems sent a new letter to Congress dated Wednesday expressing “significant concerns” about the proposed GOP repeal and replace bill.

“It is likely to result in a substantial reduction in the number of Americans able to
buy affordable health insurance or maintain coverage under the Medicaid program,” they write in the letter. “We are very concerned that the draft legislative proposal being considered by the House committees could lead to tremendous instability for those seeking affordable coverage.”

The letter is signed by America’s Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems—which collectively represent thousands of hospitals around the country.

The cite in their letter several areas of concern in the bill, particularly the provision that freezes the Medicaid expansion in 2020 and turns it into block grants parceled out to states—which experts say would reduce federal spending on the program by hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The proposed Medicaid program restructuring will result in both the loss of coverage for current enrollees as well as cuts to a program that provides
health care services for our most vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and disabled,” they write.

The new letter follows on the heels of criticism from groups representing doctors, nurses, and the elderly.

In a separate letter this week, the American Hospital Association offered an additional warning about the GOP Medicaid plan: “If coverage is not maintained at the current level, those resources need to be returned to hospitals and health systems in order to provide services to what will likely be an increased number of uninsured Americans.”

The group also strongly disagreed with Republicans’ decision to move the bill forward without hearing first from the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan agency studying how much the bill will cost and how many people could lose their health insurance if it passes.

Read the full letter:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: