From the Iowa Hospital Association

Twenty advocates from all parts of Iowa met with the offices of Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst to discuss the impact to Iowa hospitals that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and a similar Senate bill released Thursday will have on hospitals, patients and communities.

The current proposal will transition the Medicaid program away from a federal-state partnership to a per-capita capped financial system that will result in significant cuts. Advocates shared stories about how Medicaid expansion and other value-added programs implemented by hospitals to assist individuals on Medicaid have benefited their communities. Hospital advocates told the delegation that these legislative proposals threaten the continued viability of Iowa’s hospitals, citing that Medicaid makes up between 10 and 20 percent of revenues for Iowa hospitals and cuts to Medicaid will have a direct impact on care across the state.

The bottom line is that the draft bill under discussion in the Senate does not protect and improve coverage for all of Iowa’s citizens. This bill will result in significant and steep cuts to the Medicaid program that have the potential to adversely and irreversibly impact Iowa’s hospitals and the communities they serve. Medicaid is a lifeline to Iowa’s rural communities and the individuals who rely on it. It is every bit as much a part of the fabric of how we care for Iowans as Medicare and this flawed legislation should be rejected.

The Senate is preparing to vote on this legislation next week. It is important for Iowa’s Senators to hear from Iowans about the significant consequences that will occur if the Senate passes this legislation. Advocates are urged to take action and continue to stress to Iowa’s delegation the real impact of these proposed cuts.

Additionally, regional directors from Senator Ernst’s office will hold traveling office hours throughout the month of July in all 99 counties in Iowa. This will be a time for hospital advocates to ask questions and share concerns regarding changes to the Medicaid program. A complete list of all upcoming dates can be found here.