Powerful hospital group in Pa. sounds warning about ACA repeal and replace
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 01.23.17
(Harrisburg) -- One of the most powerful health care groups in Pennsylvania is issuing a warning to politicians who want to change the Affordable Care Act.
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania says every hospital would take a hit.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced, and some people lose health insurance, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania says the effects would be widespread.
Andy Carter, CEO of HAP, says because of the ACA, hospitals are now getting paid for most of the care they're providing.
Even with it, Carter says about a third of rural hospitals are struggling to keep their budgets balanced, and a partial replacement of the healthcare law would make things worse.
"Those will face particularly high risks. But even our most financially successful hospitals are going to see their business plans for growth and quality improvement undermined if this huge amount of resorces that are coming in to Pennsylvania stop coming," says Carter.
A study by the nonpartisan Rand Corporation estimates more than $2 billion in federal money is now flowing to Pennsyvlania every year because of Medicaid expansion. The same study says the expansion adds at least $3 billion in economic activity to the state every year.
It's covered more than 670,000 low-income Pennsylvanians, and at least 410,000 have also enrolled in a plan on healthcare.gov.
If repeal and replace kicks some people off their insurance, Carter says it's back to the old way of doing things.
"People who need emergency care are going to continue to get that care. But that's inefficient, and there won't be enough resources to do the follow up work with patients nearly to the same degree," he adds.
Carter says changes should be made to the ACA, but they must maintain coverage for all who have it now.
Published in Affordable Care Act