MHA and our member hospitals, health systems and other providers have made great strides in healthcare payment and delivery reform, thanks to Massachusetts' groundbreaking health reform law of 2006 and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We believe our state serves as an example of how the ACA's approach to expanding access to affordable health coverage can be successful nationally if given the time and support it deserves.
But continued efforts by President Trump and Republican congressional leaders to repeal the ACA will severely damage the progress we have made. Today's House passage of an amended version of the American Health Care Act (ACHA) seeks to end our nation's very solid advances toward accessible, high-quality care for all residents and will likely send many of those in the country back to the "bad old days" when pre-existing conditions put both coverage and care out of reach for millions of Americans and insurance for lower-income patients was inadequate or non-existent.
The ACHA, as written, will halt the advances our state and country have made in healthcare access, affordability and delivery. Most troubling, it would put health coverage in jeopardy for many Americans, particularly for older and sicker patients. It is inexcusable that the House would vote on a bill that could have such dramatic consequences for the healthcare system and the nation's solvency without its members having adequate time to understand what is in the bill or what it would cost.
MHA also remains strongly opposed to the repeal of the ACA. And we applaud the many Massachusetts leaders such as Governor Charlie Baker who have joined our entire Congressional delegation by going on record with their opposition to the current repeal/replace effort, citing the threat posed to Massachusetts’ near universal health insurance coverage for its residents and the potential loss of millions of dollars in vital federal funding for healthcare.
MHA and our members are likewise distressed by this latest effort to roll back the progress and benefits achieved under the ACA, and we're grateful that our entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation stands uniformly opposed to such measures.
None of the proposals or amendments that have been put forward in Congress would maintain the insurance coverage that currently exists as a result of the ACA, or continue the quality and delivery system improvements now underway. They would, in fact, be extremely harmful to our nation's health. With lives in the balance, hospitals, healthcare professionals and patient advocates across the country will be redoubling our efforts in the weeks and months ahead to defeat the House bill.