FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — As Congress works to reconcile House and Senate tax reform bills, we urge lawmakers to reject changes that would put affordable health care out of reach for millions of Americans and badly strain the nation’s safety net.
We are deeply concerned the Senate plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate would jeopardize ongoing coverage for those who need it most by pricing them out of the marketplace. As they drop out of coverage, and as others choose not to enroll, uncompensated care costs will rise at hospitals already struggling to meet their mission.
The House and Senate bills would further destabilize hospitals that care for those who face financial hardships by triggering deep cuts to social programs. Sequestration would undermine care for Medicare patients and have a ripple effect on Medicaid and other social supports, particularly for dually eligible beneficiaries.
We fervently hope House and Senate conferees will maintain the individual mandate and work swiftly to avert damaging Medicare cuts if they enact final reform legislation. Tax reform should not come at the cost of individual health and the financial well-being of hospitals on which so many Americans depend. The nation’s patients and their hospitals look to Congress to do no harm as it considers a final tax measure.
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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 325 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.