March 14, 2017 11:30 AM

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Paul Salles, president and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association, released a joint statement with Jennifer McMahon, executive director of the Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans, regarding the American Health Care Act — the GOP-controlled Congress’ answer to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.


The statement was released after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in on the legislation, concluding in its analysis that the AHCA would jettison roughly 24 million people from the health insurance rolls.


The LHA is a nonprofit organization established in 1926 that represents hospitals and other health care providers in the state. The MHC-NO fulfills the same mission, with a focus on hospitals and health care providers in the Greater New Orleans area.


The statement:

The Louisiana Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans are deeply concerned about several provisions in the American Health Care Act (AHCA). We strongly urge Congress to engage in a thoughtful, transparent process when it comes to major changes to our healthcare system, and we are ready and willing to work with them to ensure Louisiana residents have continued access to critical healthcare services.


While a Louisiana-specific impact analysis of the AHCA is not yet available, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that coverage losses will impact low-income Medicaid enrollees and the elderly (50-64) most severely. The Medicaid program would receive the most significant cut in federal support, an estimated $880 billion over the next 10 years, resulting in 14 million more uninsured nationally.


In Louisiana, cuts of this magnitude would negatively impact services to the most vulnerable covered by Medicaid, including the elderly, disabled, children and pregnant women.


As lawmakers work to re-examine the law, patients and the caregivers who serve them across Louisiana are depending on Congress to make continued coverage a priority. Under the Affordable Care Act, there have been significant investments in the healthcare of Louisiana residents that must be protected. During these tough economic times in our state, we must carefully consider any major healthcare changes that could negatively impact Louisiana’s patients, budget and economy.

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