Statement from Debbie Johnston, AzHHA Senior Vice President of Policy Development
Phoenix AZ (May 4, 2017) – The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association releases the following statement regarding the American Health Care Act, which today passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration:
“The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association is deeply disappointed in today’s passage of the American Health Care Act because it would jeopardize health coverage for millions of Americans.
“This legislation – as currently written – represents a massive shift of financial risk and burden from the federal government to states, local healthcare providers and Arizona patients and families. Specifically, analysis of this legislation indicates it would significantly reduce the number of Arizonans with health coverage, while increasing costs for older and sicker Arizonans – including those on fixed incomes who are fortunate enough to maintain coverage at all.
“Just as concerning is the impact this legislation would have on Arizonans who depend upon Medicaid. This measure would slash funding for this critical healthcare safety net and roll back a large portion of the benefits in states such as Arizona that expanded eligibility in recent years. Reduced Medicaid enrollment means more people without health coverage and higher rates of uncompensated care borne by Arizona hospitals. This is a threat to the financial future of our industry.
“Arizonans with pre-existing conditions face similar uncertainty under this legislation, as it would give states leeway to charge these individuals higher rates or shuffle them into so-called ‘high risk’ pools in which the quality of care is not assured.
“The simple fact is there is much we don’t know about this legislation, as the House approved its passage before the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office could issue an analysis of the bill’s future impacts. That alone should give every American pause about the process being followed here.
“The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association supports reforms to our nation’s healthcare system that would improve choice, access and cost. Now, we will work with the U.S. Senate as we continue collaborating with our national partners and state and federal leaders to find real, workable policy solutions to the challenges our healthcare system faces. In its current form, the American Health Care Act does not meet this crucial test.”
This is a shameful display of harmful legislation for millions of american citizens who are going to lose their health insurance just when they need it the most. What’s mssing with the single payer system? Greed, that ‘s what is missing and all those who will profit from this change. Many people will die from these changes and their blood will be on hands of those who profit at their expense. We can make the changes that our representatives refuse to do. That’s the nature of democracy. There’s more of us than there are of them. Wake up people!
I wasn’t aware we had an affordable health care system in AZ. I must have missed that Ms. Johnston. Since when is $1100 a month with a $6500 deductible, for ONE individual affordable? That’s over $19,000 a year, AND you have to have NEW referrals from your primary care doctor EVEN if you have been treated by the same specialists for years. And THAT’S a problem when the specialists were caught off guard and had NOT signed up for the new program.
How about – a NP that you have been seeing for 5 years, and all of a sudden, even with the carrier stating during the sign up period that the NP was approved – find out later the NP was NOT. So much for that relationship. Have you tried finding a new APPROVED doctor that is TAKING patients in Sedona? Good luck with that.
Steve – single payer? Are you kidding? Have you NOT heard of the VA? That’s a perfect example of how the GOVERNMENT can screw things up, it IS a single payer. Our poor vets have been living that nightmare for decades – and DYING. No thanks. At least now they have the opportunity to go elsewhere and get treatment, NO THANKS TO THE LAST ADMINISTRATION.
Indiana – Family of 6, combined income over $140,000 gross, and group plan takes $700 a PAYCHECK (bi weekly) making some months health care cost $2100, MINIMUM $1400. They take the penalty. And THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP for killing the IRS penalty. At least the citizens of the country are not forced to buy un-affordable health insurance.
The HOUSE Bill has $130 BILLION for pre existing conditions, and does not cut Medicaid. Enough of the scare tactics. And let’s be clear, the bill must go to the Senate where it will get changed, and then it has to go to conference.
How many MILLIONS of Americans today do NOT have health insurance and pay the penalty? It is estimated that there are more of those than those who did NOT have health insurance prior to the ACA nightmare, passed in the dark of night with millions in “bribes” going to senators states. Here are a few:
The multi-million-dollar deals cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and others to win the 60 votes needed for the historic health care reform bill gave President Barack Obama the margin he needed to fulfill a central campaign promise — but may also have upped the ante for future presidential horse trading.
With the bill hanging in the balance, Nelson won a provision exempting his state from paying the usual share of costs for new Medicaid patients. The deal critics have dubbed the Cornhusker Kickback is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.
Before a close vote, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) won an even larger break for her state — an estimated $300 million in extra federal spending, in a move opponents derided as the Louisiana Purchase.
Some critics branded the special deals as functionally equivalent to the kind of earmarks Obama crusaded against as a senator — and a quantum leap from eleventh-hour deals Obama’s predecessors have cut.
Now – for those who want to know why the ACA is collapsing under its own weight, and why there are no choices in some states, like N AZ, and some exchanges are going to have ZERO insures, here is an opportunity to learn why:
The vote in the House was close, but the American Health Care Act passed 217-213. Now it’s on to the Senate to see if we can get a bill that a) can pass; and b) can be worked out with the House’s version in conference committee.
It won’t be easy, but it can be done – and I think Republicans understand their differences on these issues aren’t big enough to warrant letting the failing ObamaCare stand.
One thing that will help a lot is if people realize what a bunch of bullfeathers they’re being fed with this whole business about pre-existing conditions. ObamaCare requires that people with pre-existing conditions who don’t already have insurance be allowed to sign up for it, and be charged premiums no different than those who are totally healthy. While this sounds wonderfully compassionate, it goes completely against everything that makes the economics of insurance work – which is why it’s been one of the leading drivers of soaring premiums since ObamaCare took effect.
And because of this, it’s one of the leading causes of ObamaCare’s failure and the need to replace it with something better.
The Democrats and the media would have you believe that repealing and replacing ObamaCare means people with pre-existing conditions will never be able to get coverage. That is simply not true. The House-passed AHCA sets up a $130 billion fund (over 10 years) that will help states pay for high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. How does this work? If you are already sick and you don’t have insurance, you will apply for coverage through this federally funded pool.
Now, why do it this way? Why not just require the insurers to cover everyone at the same rate? Wouldn’t that be more fair?
No, because that would mean people who will consume far less in terms of health care services would pay the same as those who consume a lot. And because insurers can’t charge more for high-utilizers, that means everyone’s premiums will go up even as the insurers themselves lose money on the deal and find themselves incentivized to get out of markets entirely.
We’ve been seeing insurers leave ObamaCare exchanges on a steady pace for the past three years, and this is the reason. Because ObamaCare doesn’t allow them to price their products reasonably, they can’t make money.
A high-risk pool would cost the taxpayers some money. But it would cost less than we’re likely to pay in ObamaCare premium subsidies, and more importantly, it would allow healthy people to buy insurance within a pool that will utilize far fewer services and allow insurers to charge much lower premiums.
The mainstream media don’t like it when we call them fake news. But when they tell you the Republican bill is abandoning people with pre-existing conditions, that is simply fake news. It does no such thing. This $130 billion fund will make sure their needs are met while protecting everyone else from having to deal with soaring premiums because already-sick people are in a risk pool where they don’t belong.
By the way, when we talk about people who are already sick, don’t have insurance and want to get it, we’re talking about a very small percentage of the population. Fully 96 percent of the country will see its premiums reduced by the AHCA. The other 4 percent are driving up costs for everyone else – not by any fault of their own, but because Obama and the Democrat insisted on putting them in the same pool with everyone else.
That was always a disastrous idea, and the results have been exactly what we predicted. The Republican approach is far better, and the media claims that people with pre-existing conditions are being left out in the cold are the definition of fake news.
Obamacare is dead. Do you want to wait for the collapse, or put something on the table that has a chance to actually help people.