Posted on May 12, 2017
As part of the May 7-10 American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Membership Meeting, MHA members went to Capitol Hill to continue advocacy on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). During the congressional visits, members expressed their opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the U.S. House earlier this month.
The AHCA would cut more than $840 billion from Medicaid funding over the next 10 years; repeal the enhanced match of 90 percent federal funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan for anyone who is not continuously enrolled beginning Jan. 1, 2020; allow states to waive the requirements of essential health benefits and the limits on premiums for people with preexisting conditions; and repeal the provisions requiring states to allow hospitals to make presumptive eligibility determinations for all categories of Medicaid beneficiaries.
The AHCA would repeal the individual and employer mandates to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage, as well as the monetary penalties associated with violation of these mandates. In addition, nearly every other tax and funding mechanism under the ACA would be repealed. However, the Medicare reductions to hospitals that was designed to help pay for coverage expansion would not be repealed. Although 24 million people could lose coverage under the AHCA, hospitals would still be required to make huge financial contributions. Advocates reminded members of Congress that, for Michigan hospitals, the amount of this contribution is $10 billion from when the ACA was passed in 2010 through 2026. MHA members shared their opinions about the lack of fairness to patients and hospitals in a bill that reverses coverage expansion, drives up uncompensated care, and continues the imposition of funding cuts for hospitals.
The MHA continues its work with the AHA to generate a deeper understanding of the true impact of the ACA and hospitals’ work to improve healthcare delivery through coverage and organized systems of care. The MHA encourages members to persist in their advocacy efforts with Congress as the AHCA debate continues. Resources are available on the MHA ACA Repeal & Replace webpage. The U.S. Senate is expected to continue its discussion on this issue through the next several weeks and possibly into the planned Senate recess in August. For more information, contact Laura Appel at the MHA.
Photo Caption: Several MHA-member organizations were represented in Washington, DC, at the American Hospital Association annual meeting in May. Shown here are (left to right) Wright Lassiter, president and CEO, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; Laura Appel, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, MHA, Lansing; Mary Zatina, senior vice president, government relations and community affairs, Beaumont Health, Southfield; U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing); Tina Freese Decker, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group, Grand Rapids; and Brian Peters, CEO, MHA, Okemos.
Posted in: Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare