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ACA Replacement Could Jeopardize Safety Net Hospitals

By Philip Betbeze  
   February 13, 2017

Essential facilities could lose $40.5 billion between 2018 and 2026 if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a 'comparable' alternative, says America's Essential Hospitals.

Repealing and replacing the seven-year-old Affordable Care Act could create a ripple effect with devastating consequences for safety net hospitals.

These facilities will suffer financially to the tune of $40.5 billion from 2018–2026 if the law is repealed and Congress fails to quickly pass a "comparable" alternative, according to an analysis by America's Essential Hospitals.

Hospital Outlook for 2017? Stay Tuned.

If Congress repeals the ACA without enacting a comparable replacement, the analysis predicted, safety net hospitals would face:

  • Coverage losses amounting to $6.1 billion
  • Medicare cuts reaching $10.7 billion
  • Cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital programs totaling $23.7 billion.

The 275-member association of nonprofit hospitals asserts that even if Republicans submit legislation that is similar to their December 2015 attempt to repeal the law, member hospitals—many of which serve as the safety net hospital or health system in their city or region—would lose $16.8 billion over the same period.

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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