James K. Reed, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Peter’s Health Partners, shared the below memo with our organization’s 12,500 employees:
Congress is preparing to act as early as January 3, 2017, to begin moving legislation that is likely to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Repealing the ACA puts the coverage of more than 22 million Americans – including 1.7 million individuals in our communities – at risk. Join us in calling upon Congress to act prudently and ensure that repeal and replace go together. Let your voice be heard, Take Action today to urge Congress to synchronize a replacement plan with any repeal of the ACA early next year.
Why is this important?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that 22 million Americans would lose insurance under the 2015 plan that currently is being considered as a replacement blueprint. These would mostly be people who have coverage through Medicaid and the Marketplace. However, it is estimated that the replacement plan would not take shape at the time repeal legislation passes.
Want to learn more?
It has become increasingly clear that repealing the coverage provisions of the ACA without a clear plan for transition to an alternative could destabilize the already fragile individual market and result in a loss of coverage for those enrolled in Medicaid. As a matter of fact, the American Academy of Actuaries recently detailed this concern in a letter to U.S. House of Representative leaders. Other organizations have also outlined important issues, including the American Hospital Association (AHA) which recently released a report estimating the financial impact on hospitals of repealing the ACA without the implementation of a replacement plan. A Modern Healthcare article describes the risk of losing the ability to “pay for” a replacement if it happens later. Lastly, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has articulated many questions surrounding what is at risk in repeal and delay related to Medicaid expansion.
In addition to advocating for continued access to coverage for all, payment innovation successes of the ACA including bundled payments and accountable care organizations (ACOs) must also be addressed. The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF), chaired by Trinity Health President and CEO Richard J. Gilfillan, M.D., recently sent a letter to the Trump Administration urging continuation of important payment reforms that reduce costs, improve quality, and create a sharp focus on patient needs.
The evolution of our nation’s health care system is advancing at a pace that requires our immediate attention to ensure that we can continue to influence the changing landscape. Trinity Health and other like-minded partners are urging the new Administration and Congress to work with providers to develop a comprehensive and sustainable “replacement” plan before acting on repeal, and that replacement ensures that no one who has coverage today loses it, and all Americans have access to high-value, people-centered care.
Using Trinity Health electronic eAdvocacy system, you can Take Action today and let your voice be heard. For more information, please review our FAQ on eAdvocacy. Please let legislators know that any repeal of the ACA must be synchronized with an immediate replacement plan.
James K. Reed, M.D.
President & CEO