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HAP Statement on Release of Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”

June 22, 2017

The U.S. Senate today released the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” its version of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Andy Carter, president and CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) released the following statement:

"The House-passed American Health Care Act jeopardizes coverage, weakens Medicaid, and undermines critical protections. It would hit Pennsylvania harder than other states, and it would disproportionately affect vulnerable Pennsylvanians—older, poorer consumers. The plan the Senate released today does not change this outlook.

“The hospital community has shared its thoughts with Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation and two U.S. Senators on several occasions, including through multiple meetings, as well as joint letters on May 2, June 7, and June 21.

“We remain concerned about the Senate’s plan to phase out enhanced Medicaid funding, which has helped more than 770,000 Pennsylvanians gain coverage. Moreover, deep cuts to Medicaid will fundamentally weaken the program which serves nearly 2.8 million children, pregnant women, seniors and individuals with disabilities, and will drive up costs for those with private insurance. We also are disappointed the legislation does not offer more support in addressing the growing opioid crisis.

“The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but it provides more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians with access to reliable health care and helps the commonwealth’s hospitals work to improve their care delivery systems. Any effort to repeal or replace it must protect patients by preserving access to affordable, dependable health care coverage.

“We urge the Senate to reconsider this policy approach and protect coverage for all Pennsylvanians.”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to release its analysis of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 on Monday, June 26. Senate leaders have indicated they intend to amend and pass the legislation before the July 4 recess. 

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