Since President Trump’s inauguration Friday, the stage has been set for the future of health care: an executive order that directs congress to take every action it can to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This order mostly serves a rhetorical purpose, but it’s a precursor to future congressional and executive branch action.
I traveled recently to Washington, D.C., to meet with other state hospital associations and the American Hospital Association to chart a national strategy. While there, I met with members of our congressional delegation to reiterate our concerns and stress the need for a viable ACA replacement. They heard and are responding to our concerns – but we also recognize this will be an extended debate. Our delegation is on record either opposing the repeal or calling for a replacement simultaneous with repeal.
What exactly a replacement would entail still remains an unknown, as does its potential impact on our state’s hospitals, health systems, communities and budget. (And we will of course be analyzing proposals and keeping you updated on the impacts.) We have heard from some of you that you are getting questions from patients at your hospital or clinics about what a repeal of the ACA would mean for their health care coverage. Because we don’t know what a replacement would be, we encourage you to refer them to WSHA’s congressional delegation contact page and ask them to ask their members of congress what is likely to happen.
The agreement that hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians need health insurance offers hope, as well as an avenue for us to work with our leaders to improve the future of health care. (You can also now see on our website the map of how Medicaid expansion has increased health coverage enrollment in Washington State, and watch yesterday’s webcast on the future of the ACA.) You’ve heard us say it before: ensuring access to high-quality health care is not a partisan issue. Community health helps us all.
WSHA President & CEO