March 21, 2017
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
SENT VIA ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION (view as PDF)
On behalf of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), I write to express our opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and urge you to vote against the legislation when it comes to the floor of the House of Representatives this week. After weeks of seeking to work with the House of Representatives to craft legislation that modernizes and improves the health care system while preserving coverage for low-income individuals, we regret that we have arrived here.
The AHCA represents a fundamental threat to the millions of Americans who receive coordinated care services through Safety Net Health Plans. ACAP’s member plans serve 17 million Americans in Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and as qualified health plans in the health insurance Marketplaces. Our members serve almost half of all Medicaid enrollees in managed care and our QHP members have seen massive increases in coverage provided to enrollees in the health insurance Marketplaces nationwide. If enacted as is, this legislation would destabilize the business environment for Safety Net Health Plans and others who serve Medicaid populations; for some plans, it may pose an existential threat. We are also deeply concerned about the impact on the nationwide network of federally qualified health centers, public hospitals, and other safety net providers that will be inundated with previously covered but newly uninsured Americans.
In an effort to initiate constructive dialogue to improve the legislation, ACAP sent a letter on March 14 to the bipartisan health and political leadership outlining our concerns with the AHCA. Those concerns were increased by the Congressional Budget Office’s score that estimated that 24 million people will lose health insurance coverage and that there will be a $880 billion reduction in federal Medicaid funding. While the manager’s amendment will impact CBO estimates, and despite the inclusion of some policies that ACAP has long supported, the AHCA fails to address our core concerns and we have no choice but to oppose the bill.
In addition to not addressing our policy concerns, the AHCA’s drastic reductions in coverage – particularly for those with Medicaid and low-income Americans receiving subsidies through the Marketplaces – strikes at the core of ACAP’s plans’ mission and values. ACAP plans exist to provide high-quality, cost-effective coordinated care services to low-income and medically vulnerable populations. ACAP cannot disregard our core values to support this legislation.
ACAP stands prepared to work with members of the House and Senate to improve current law and provide sound and stable coverage for uninsured and low-income Americans. In its current form, however, the American Health Care Act moves in the opposite direction and as such we have no choice but to oppose this legislation. We urge you to vote no on this legislation when it comes to the floor.
Margaret A. Murray
Chief Executive Officer