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Statement from Lynn Nicholas, President& CEO,
Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA),
Regarding Proposed US Senate Version of GOP Healthcare Bill
June 22, 2017

“The draft bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act released today by the U.S. Senate’s GOP majority does absolutely nothing to assuage the concerns of Massachusetts hospitals, health systems and other providers about the damage such legislation would do to our state and national healthcare systems and most of all to patients.

At a time when this country should be moving toward providing care for all of its citizens like every other industrialized nation in the world, this bill actually moves us in the opposite direction. While the ACA wasn’t perfect, I challenge any Republican Senator to name one thing in this bill that will make healthcare in the US better for patients or the healthcare professionals who care for them. In fact, the Senate proposal will make all involved worse off compared to the benefits offered by the Affordable Care Act.

Like the proposal that passed in the House, this bill would de-stabilize the healthcare system in our commonwealth. Even without a CBO score, it’s clear this bill would still reduce access to affordable coverage for low and middle income families, increase medical debt and out-of-pocket costs for patients, exacerbate cost-shifting to employer insurance and increase the amount of uncompensated care hospitals and other providers would face as the number of uninsured individuals increases.

Medicaid cuts of this magnitude are unsustainable and will put pressure on the whole system, compromising care and increasing costs for everyone. Massachusetts would be challenged with an impossible financial burden given the impact of payment caps on the core Medicaid program. The promise of our successful collective efforts to date to reform the commonwealth’s healthcare payment and delivery systems would be imperiled.

If the House Affordable Health Care Act was a “mean” bill, the Senate version is a “nasty” one.  We are fortunate to have our entire congressional delegation working to defeat this repeal effort and a governor working in concert with them to minimize the harm posed to our state.”

                                                             
                                                              
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