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Statement on House Passage of the American Health Care Act


Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON — The House voted today to take health care coverage away from tens of millions of Americans, reduce benefits and increase costs for millions more — including the sick — and gut a program that has been a lifeline for vulnerable people for more than 50 years.

This is not reform. This is legislation that will take us back to a time when working individuals and families were forced to choose between health care coverage and life’s other necessities. In fact, it will leave us in a worse place than before the law it seeks to replace, the Affordable Care Act.

The hospitals and health systems that care for disadvantaged Americans, essential hospitals, meet their mission across all states and localities — blue and red, urban and rural. But the draconian cuts to Medicaid and soaring levels of uncompensated care this bill would create put that mission in jeopardy. If this bill becomes law, it will put all communities at risk of losing access to basic care and vital services, including trauma care and disaster response.

It is particularly telling that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose this legislation and no major stakeholder group supports it. The Senate must heed those warning signs and stop this damaging legislation. The solutions we need to fix the shortcomings of the ACA demand a more deliberative process that brings all stakeholders, including our hospitals, to the table.

With a measured approach, we can preserve access to affordable health care and protect struggling Americans from the massive loss of coverage that almost certainly will occur under the AHCA. We offer our members’ experience and expertise to achieve those goals.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our nearly 300 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.

Carl Graziano



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