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Hospitals Issue Dire Warnings About Repealing Obamacare Without A Backup Plan | The Huffington Post

Hospitals Issue Dire Warnings About Repealing Obamacare Without A Backup Plan | The Huffington Post EDITION US عربي (Arabi) Australia Brasil Canada Deutschland España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb México Québec (En Francais) South Africa United Kingdom United States NEWS WorldPost Highline Science Education Weird News Business TestKitchen Tech College Media POLITICS Pollster Election Results Eat the Press HuffPost Hill Candidate Confessional So That Happened ENTERTAINMENT Sports Comedy Celebrity Books Entertainment TV Arts + Culture WELLNESS Healthy Living Travel Style Taste Home Weddings Divorce Sleep WHAT'S WORKING Impact Green Good News Global Health VOICES Black Voices Latino Voices Women Fifty Religion Queer Voices Parents Teen College VIDEO ALL SECTIONS Arts + Culture Black Voices Books Business Candidate Confessional Celebrity College Comedy Crime Divorce Dolce Vita Eat the Press Education Election Results Entertainment Fifty Good News Green Healthy Living Highline Home Horoscopes HuffPost Data HuffPost Hill Impact Latino Voices Media Outspeak Parents Politics Pollster Queer Voices Religion Science Small Business So That Happened Sports Style Taste Tech Teen TestKitchen Travel TV Weddings Weird News Women WorldPost FEATURED Hawaii OWN Quiet Revolution Don't Stress the Mess Endeavor Fearless Dreamers Generation Now Inspiration Generation Paving the Way The Power Of Humanity Sleep + Wellness What's Working: Purpose + Profit What's Working: Small Businesses POLITICS Hospitals Issue Dire Warnings About Repealing Obamacare Without A Backup Plan Lobbying groups are concerned about losing more than half a trillion dollars -- which would threaten access to care. 12/06/2016 04:13 pm ET 14k Jeffrey Young Senior Reporter, The Huffington Post WASHINGTON ― The hospital industry has a warning for President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders: Eliminating the Affordable Care Act without first crafting a “replacement” would create major hardships throughout the health care system. Hospitals traded billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts for expanded health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, reasoning it would be good for hospital finances to have fewer uninsured patients who don’t pay for their care. Congressional Republicans are leaning toward a plan that would repeal the law early next year, but delay enacting a new system for up to three years. That won’t work, according to two influential hospital lobbying groups . The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals laid out their concerns in letters sent Tuesday to Trump , Vice President-elect Mike Pence , House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who will become minority leader next year. These groups  are demanding  that legislation repealing the law and creating an alternative pass simultaneously, or that Congress and the incoming Trump administration restore the funding cuts from the law. Hospitals will be seriously threatened if neither action occurs, Tom Nickels, executive vice president for government relations and public policy, said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. “Repealing the ACA while leaving its Medicare and Medicaid cuts in place will have huge implications for hospitals and the patients they serve,” Nickels said. “Loses of the magnitude that we’re going to discuss cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses.” Hospital companies hold uncommonly large sway over lawmakers because the facilities they operate are vital elements of the infrastructure and economy of virtually every community in the United States. They are major employers and have a physical presence in every congressional district in the country.  To think about going through another dramatic, sudden, rapid change for an organization that teeters on being able to stay alive and provide services is gut-wrenching. Joann Anderson, president and CEO of Southeastern Health This early and public admonition against the preferred GOP strategy to handle Obamacare repeal underscores how complex and messy the project promises to be, even though Republican leaders are trying to quickly fulfill a promise they’ve been making to voters since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. Health care companies and others will lobby aggressively to protect their interests, which currently have a lot of overlap with those of the people who stand to lose their health coverage as a result of Affordable Care Act repeal. And Republicans themselves have not fully united behind the “repeal and delay” strategy. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), for exam