(Austin – March 8, 2017) As the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives begin markups of the American Health Care Act, the Texas Hospital Association released the following statement by Ted Shaw, THA president/ CEO.
"From a clinical and financial perspective, continuing to reduce the number of uninsured Texans is key for Texas hospitals. With hospital uncompensated care costs already exceeding $7 billion a year, accruing any additional such costs would be unsustainable for the Texas hospital industry. But, given the lack of an official "score" from the Congressional Budget Office on the American Health Care Act, it is difficult to judge whether the proposed legislation would achieve this objective.
If coverage gains are not maintained, however, it is essential to eliminate all of the hospital funding cuts that are part of the Affordable Care Act and are paying for increased insurance coverage. We are encouraged that the American Health Care Act would eliminate scheduled cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, but additional hospital funding cuts remain.
We also believe that the Medicaid 1115 waiver process is the more appropriate venue for giving states the desired flexibility to change their Medicaid programs. Rather than capping federal funding and potentially forcing states to make untenable policy choices, giving states additional flexibility through the 1115 waiver process would help the federal government manage costs and allow states the option to tailor their Medicaid programs to achieve additional efficiencies and better health care outcomes."