Hospitals come out against new ObamaCare repeal bill

Hospitals come out against new ObamaCare repeal bill
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The American Hospital Association is opposing the GOP’s last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill, saying the legislation puts the health coverage of 10 million people at risk.

“This proposal would erode key protections for patients and consumers and does nothing to stabilize the insurance market now or in the long term,” Rick Pollack, the group's president and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.

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“In addition, the block grant to provide support for the expansion population expires in 2026, thereby eliminating coverage for millions of Americans.”

Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff House passes bill to prevent shutdown and suspend debt limit Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles MORE (R-S.C.) have unveiled legislation that would end funding for insurer subsidies, tax credits and Medicaid expansion, and it would convert those dollars into block grants for states. It would also defund Planned Parenthood for a year and repeal the individual and employer insurance mandates.

The bill has gained momentum in recent days with Republicans facing a Sept. 30 deadline to pass ObamaCare repeal through a fast-track process that would allow them to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

The American Hospital Association fiercely opposed both the House and the Senate’s previous ObamaCare repeal bills. Other groups — such as the American Medical Association and America’s Essential Hospitals — have come out in opposition to the newest bill as well. 

Pollack on Tuesday urged senators to work together on fixes to the health care system.

But Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, is downplaying the Senate’s best chance at a bipartisan deal in the near future — an effort he is working on with the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayTexas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill Faith leaders call on Congress to lead the response to a global pandemic MORE (Wash.).

Alexander had hoped for a deal by early this week, but pointed to the re-emergence of partisan policies as a new barrier to a deal, including the renewed Republican repeal effort and a bill from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Manchin fires warning shot on plan to expand Medicare Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor MORE (I-Vt.) that would institute a single-payer health care system.

“But since Sen. Sanders and 15 Democrats renewed their push for ‘Medicare for all,’ Republicans began a new effort at repeal and replace. It obviously makes achieving a bipartisan consensus more difficult,” Alexander told reporters Tuesday.

The Association of American Medical Colleges also panned the bill, sending a letter to all senators urging them to oppose the measure and work in a bipartisan fashion on any health care changes.

"During the long debate regarding health care reform, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have continually advocated for a number of key principles as fundamental cornerstones of any successful health care system," President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch wrote.

"These principles include offering high-quality, affordable health insurance to all; preserving and fortifying the safety net through Medicaid and other policies; and encouraging innovation in the delivery system, among others," he said.

He added that Cassidy-Graham doesn't meet these principles.

This story was updated at 4:49 p.m.