A coalition of hospitals and medical lobbying groups spent over a million dollars on advertisements decrying Republican attempts to do away with the Affordable Care Act.
The organization behind the campaign, The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, represents the interests of the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The ads ask Americans whether they might be one of the millions estimated to lose coverage should the Senate’s bill manage to pass. The Coalition demanded that legislators “go back to the drawing board” and conceive a healthcare plan that won’t risk the health of nearly one out of every ten Americans.
“This bill would take us back in time, leaving over 20 million uninsured and creating a system that is not available or accessible to everyone,” said Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association.
The recent round of advertisements marks the second occasion The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care has banded together to run commercials against conservative legislators.
When Paul Ryan was spearheading efforts to pass the House’s rendition of a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the coalition took similar steps.
Many of the concerns hospital and medical groups had with the House’s bill – and now have with the Senate – stems from massive proposed cuts to Medicaid.
Under the Senate bill, Medicaid expansion would be slated to halt in 2020, being replaced by a per-capita cap on benefits.
In an interview with National Public Radio, the CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, Dr. Rod Hochman, said, “It’s not the time to eviscerate a program that was started in 1965.”
“I think what gets missed is that this isn’t just about the exchanges,” Hochman said, referring to the subsidized Affordable Care Act insurance markets. “It’s about Medicaid.”
A Congressional Budget Office report on the expected consequences of the ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’ suggests that 22 million Americans could lose coverage were the bill to become law. Predictions from the CBO were more or less in line with those offered by the same office on the House’s proposal.
Growing opposition to the Senate healthcare bill, which was written in secret, forced Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to push back a vote on the measure. McConnell had originally hoped legislators might be able to move on the repeal by the Fourth of July, but has since resigned himself to the reality of needing to consolidate Republican support.