This week, House Republican leadership released legislation to repeal and replace major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), fundamentally changing how insurance is funded through Medicaid and the insurance exchanges. WSHA has released a draft analysis of the proposed legislation, which is known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
If the ACA is replaced, we want to ensure the coverage levels are as good as or better than they were under the ACA. Unfortunately, it is clear that the legislation is designed to limit access to health coverage, especially for low-income residents. Its impact on our state’s residents and hospitals is simply too great, and WSHA cannot support it.
Specifically, the legislation would effectively phase out Medicaid expansion, repeal the individual and employer mandates to purchase health insurance, cap federal Medicaid funding and maintain most of the Medicare cuts hospitals took to help launch the ACA, among other changes.
We all want a better, more efficient health care system, but we cannot get there as a country without most everyone having access to health insurance coverage. Without coverage, there is no access to care, and without access to care, people cannot take control of their health. Without ongoing access to care, the reliance on emergency rooms will continue, driving up costs for everyone and leaving our communities sicker than before. Click here to read more from the March 8 Inside D.C. about the impacts of the AHCA.
We are also holding a webcast from 2-3 p.m. today to continue the conversation about what the GOP proposal means for our patients, our hospitals and our communities. Click here to register and add it to your calendar. We will also make the recording available soon after it is finished, in case you aren’t able to make it.
WSHA members, staff and lobbyists are hard at work on this issue and will continue to be.
WSHA Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs
WSHA Policy Director, Member Advocacy