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Hospital and Nursing Groups Bash GOP's Obamacare Bill

Image: Hospital and Nursing Groups Bash GOP's Obamacare Bill
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:53 PM

Seven hospital and nursing groups Wednesday attacked legislation proposed by Republican House leaders to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying that the bill "could lead to tremendous instability for those seeking affordable coverage."

"As organizations that take care of every individual who walks through our doors, both due to our mission and our obligations under federal law, we are committed to ensuring healthcare coverage is available and affordable for all," the groups said in a letter to Congress.

Besides America's Essential Hospitals, the letter was signed by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Children's Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems.

The American Nurses Association also voiced its opposition to the legislation.

The groups joined the American Medical Association and AARP, which denounced the bill on Tuesday.

House Republicans introduced their Obamacare replacement plan on Tuesday, which would repeal the law's individual coverage mandate and replace it with a penalty for allowing coverage to lapse.

It also would end fines on people who do not carry health insurance — and the proposal is expected to cover fewer than the 20 million people insured under President Barack Obama's original plan.

President Trump endorsed the GOP proposal after meeting with House leaders at the White House on Tuesday.

"I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives and encouraged by members of both parties," Trump said. "We're going to have something that's going to be much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine."

But conservative Republicans have slammed the bill — and separate versions were introduced Tuesday in the Senate by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and in the House on Wednesday by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

"We are deeply concerned that the proposed Medicaid program restructuring will result in both the loss of coverage for current enrollees as well as cuts to a program that provides healthcare services for our most vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and disabled," the letter said.

"Additionally, maintaining deep provider reductions while dramatically reducing coverage will reduce our ability to provide essential care to those newly uninsured and those without adequate insurance.

"As a result, we cannot support the American Health Care Act as currently written."

Trump met with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday, telling them that he expected the most trouble in the Senate, The New York Times reports.

The upper chamber, he said, has moderate and conservative lawmakers who oppose the proposed bill for different reasons.

Trump said that he would pressure holdouts by going directly to the American people with the stadium-style rallies he led during the campaign, the Times reports.

In addition the Joint Committee on Taxation issued estimates this week showing how much revenue the federal government could lose starting in 2018 under the GOP bill.

These figures were on the dollars that would be lost from repealing various Obamacare taxes, according to the Times.

They include taxes on $25 billion over 10 years from drug makers; nearly $145 billion from insurers; almost $20 billion from makers of medical devices; and more than more than $270 billion from taxes on earned income and investment income from high-income households.

The Republican plan also has been endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, the Times reports.

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Seven hospital and nursing groups Wednesday attacked legislation proposed by Republican House leaders to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying that the bill "could lead to tremendous instability for those seeking affordable coverage."
hospital, nursing, group, republican, obamacare, replacement
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2017-53-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:53 PM
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