Access to health care and adequate health insurance coverage is a fundamental
human right, so we at Saint Francis Healthcare and Trinity Health are
deeply disappointed in last week's House decision to pass the amended
American Health Care Act (AHCA). We applaud our Delaware legislators who
As it is now, the AHCA would decrease the number of individuals and families
with health care coverage, erode crucial insurance protections and further
destabilize the individual insurance market. It would also remove hundreds
of billions of dollars from the Medicaid program, forcing states to eliminate
coverage for the most vulnerable individuals and families, directly affecting
our Saint Francis Healthcare patient populations.
This version of the American Health Care Act would allow states to opt
out of essential benefits requirements, decrease protections for people
with pre-existing conditions, and reinstate state-based, high-risk pools.
Historically, high-risk pools have had limited success in ensuring access
to those with pre-existing conditions, and have also been financially
prohibitive to enrollees and states. The additional funding for high-risk
pools provided in the amendments is not even close to sufficient. The
financial burden will instead fall to people with pre-existing conditions,
who will be forced to pay extraordinarily high premiums for coverage,
and likely lose their access to health insurance altogether. While the
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), has not yet scored the amended bill,
previous CBO projections estimated that the AHCA would result in 24 million
fewer people covered in 2026. It is anticipated that this bill would result
in greater losses of coverage.
The American Health Care Act does not adhere to the principles that Saint
Francis Healthcare and Trinity Health have established for evaluating
health care reform, and we will ask the Senate to consider alternative
policy approaches. We will continue to encourage the Administration, Congress
and others at the federal and state levels to explore ways to improve
access to coverage and care in the United States. We are hopeful that
there are bipartisan, public-private solutions that help our nation move
forward in caring for everyone and we will do all we can to help them
find those solutions.