“We ask Congress to protect our patients, and find ways to maintain coverage for as many Americans as possible,” wrote Richard Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Congress and the Administration on ACA (Affordable Care Act) reform, but we cannot support The American Health Care Act in its current form.”
The American Hospital Association is the first health industry group to oppose the bill. Other groups’ responses have been more lukewarm, while others have stayed silent altogether.
“It appears that the effort to restructure the Medicaid program will have the effect of making significant reductions in a program that provides services to our most vulnerable populations, and already pays providers significantly less than the cost of providing care…
“In addition, the legislation repeals much of the funding currently dedicated to provide coverage in the future. Furthermore, we object to eliminating the funding from some sources, but leaving in reductions to payments for hospitals services. 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.”
An analysis by rating agency Standard & Poor’s has estimated that the Republicans’ health care plan will result in ten million people becoming uninsured.
Pollack also said that “Any ability to evaluate The American Health Care Act, however, is severely hampered by the lack of coverage estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO),” referencing how Republicans have elected not to wait for the CBO to fully analyze the bill before moving forward with legislation.
The CBO score is expected to be released in a week. House Speaker Paul Ryan said today that Republicans will move forward with their healthcare proposals tomorrow.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW