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Healthcare Groups Unload on GOP Bill
Healthcare Groups Unload on GOP Bill
BY MEGAN R. WILSON
03/09/17 06:00 AM EST
A shorter URL for the above link:
Powerful industry groups are taking sides in the politically charged fight over repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
Healthcare associations, including those representing doctors and hospitals, have largely come out in opposition to the legislation from House Republicans. Meanwhile, some of the nations largest business groups have expressed support for it.
Republicans only unveiled the long-awaited bill, titled the American Health Care Act (AHCA), on Monday. Yet the lobbying battle over the legislation is already at a fever pitch.
Major hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association and a larger coalition of hospitals called Americas Hospitals and Health Systems, have written letters to Capitol Hill slamming the legislation and urging members to oppose it.
Doctors, through the American Medical Association (AMA), joined that chorus on Wednesday morning, calling the bill critically flawed.
Other major players including seniors advocacy group AARP and health organizations from the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society to the March of Dimes have also panned the bill.
Many industry and patient groups are charging Republicans with the opposite: making care more expensive and harder to pay for, in addition to potentially taking away coverage from millions of Americans.
Although no one believes the current healthcare system is perfect, this harmful legislation would make healthcare less secure and less affordable, said Nancy LeaMond, AARPs executive vice president, in a statement on Tuesday night.
Many healthcare groups are particularly upset with the proposed changes to Medicaid, which would repeal the federal funds used to expand of the program through -ObamaCare after 2020 and restructure the program to cap federal payments. Groups warn that change would lead to damaging cuts.
The next two weeks or three weeks is make or break. If it passes the House, how it passes can be very indicative of what a strategy might be in the Senate, she said.
If it narrowly passes, does the Senate get cold feet? If conservatives and moderate Republicans come together in the House to pass the bill, does the Senate have sound footing to pass the bill as is, without major changes?
Much of the GOP legislation consists of striking down parts of the Affordable Care Act, which requires only a few lines of text.
Republican leaders have not yet indicated how far they are willing to go in changing the bill, having sought to reach a careful compromise that they hope can win broad support in the party.
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