“We were glad to see the House of Representatives make the decision to not move the American Health Care Act forward,” said Chris Bandoli, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Government Affairs for the Washington State Hospital Association. “This bill would have forced millions of Americans to lose their health insurance and would have made health coverage more expensive and less attainable to millions more.
“We are grateful to Washington state’s Congressional delegation for taking time to understand the issues and the potential impacts on our state’s communities. Our health care system is not perfect and there is still work to do to ensure access to care, and we know that lawmakers are still very concerned about some of the effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But when the alternative is a bill that would strip coverage from millions and destabilize the entire system, the best choice is to step back and find a better way forward.
“We look forward to continuing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to increase access to high quality health care in this state.”
Background Information and Resources
WSHA’s top priority in the debate about the ACA is to preserve coverage expansions and ensure access to health insurance and care for our residents (see our webpage for more on the WSHA position and principles). If the ACA is replaced, we want to ensure the coverage levels are as good or better than under the ACA. Although there is still budget analysis to be done at the federal level to help complete this picture, it’s already clear that there will be significant reductions in the coverage gains through the ACA.
However, it’s clear that the new proposal is designed to limit access to health coverage, especially for low-income residents. The impact on our residents and our hospitals is too great, and we are unable to support this approach.
WSHA has a draft analysis of the impact to Washington State, which fundamentally changes how insurance is funded through Medicaid and the insurance exchanges.
For more information or to talk to Chris Bandoli at WSHA, please contact Mary Kay.