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News Release: HAP Statement about Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson

September 27, 2017

Yesterday, U.S. Senators abandoned a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the September 30 budget reconciliation deadline. They did not obtain the commitments for the 50 votes needed to pass the bill.

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

“Throughout the health care policy debates this year, the Pennsylvania hospital community’s guideposts have been preserving coverage and protecting meaningful access to comprehensive health care. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson plan, like the others before it, would not accomplish this.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians gained access to comprehensive coverage. We simply will not support any plan that would jeopardize coverage gains and consumer protections for millions of Pennsylvanians, and cause the state to lose billions of dollars in support for Medicaid and other essential health programs. Individuals could lose access to preventive services and treatment for behavioral health needs and substance use disorders, or see their premiums spike due to pre-existing conditions. These losses would create an unacceptably uncertain future for patients and health care providers.

“The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, and the time has come to address its flaws in a collaborative, responsible manner. We implore policymakers to develop a bipartisan solution to stabilize our insurance markets and promote access to affordable health insurance and high-quality care.”

Prior to the vote cancellation, HAP and a group of nearly 30 of Pennsylvania’s leading health care provider and advocacy organizations sent a joint letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation outlining deep policy concerns about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson plan. The letter outlined “profound concerns” that the plan would, “disrupt coverage for millions of Pennsylvanians; undermine access to care for working families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities across Pennsylvania who rely on the Medicaid program; and cause enormous uncertainty for patients and health care providers alike.”

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