Every time we think it’s the last, there is another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This law, more popular and well functioning than ever, helps millions of people including more than 20,000 Vermonters access health care.
At the same time, the ACA is not a perfect law. Here is a helpful article explaining what works about ACA and how it can be repaired or improved. The author, Sara Cliff of the news analysis site VOX, is scheduled to speak at the VAHHS annual meeting this September.
Lawmaking is an imperfect process that often requires several iterations to get right. Look how many times we’ve updated and changed Medicare. Policymakers should come together around optimizing the ACA’s effect on coverage and cost. They should not, however, agree to ill-formed legislation that would take vital protections and peace of mind from working families.
For these reasons and others, VAHHS stands in total opposition to the American Health Care Act. The newest form of this bill would allow states to eliminate community rating and essential health benefits, two cornerstones of health reform that have made coverage more available, affordable and valuable.
I believe Vermonters expect their lawmakers, here at home and in D.C., to craft the most reasonable and forward-looking policy they can. The AHCA is a far cry from reasonable or forward looking. It would be a big step backwards for patients, providers and the strength and stability of our nation.
From the American Hospital Association: “As the backbone of America’s health safety-net, hospitals and health systems must protect access to care for those who need it and ensure that the most vulnerable patients are not left behind. The AHCA continues to fall far short of that goal.”
Although Senators Leahy and Sanders, as well as Representative Welch, agree on the importance of maintaining the ACA, it never hurts to tell them what it means to your family, your patients, and your community.
Thanks for all you do on behalf of Vermonters and their hospitals. -Jeff