Maine Hospital Association Opposes Latest Bill To Repeal, Replace Affordable Care Act

Sep 19, 2017

The Maine Hospital Association is urging U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine to oppose the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The president of the association says the Graham-Cassidy bill is similar to previous efforts that have been rejected.

One major component of Graham-Cassidy is that it would convert Medicaid to a block grant program and, in the process, critics say, significantly reduce funding. Maine Hospital Association President Steven Michaud says Maine would lose $1 billion in federal dollars by 2027, which would devastate rural hospitals that operate on razor-thin margins.

“We’re talking about something that is almost impossible to overstate. We’re talking about, for sure, service closures and probably hospital closures if this would go through,” he says.

Michaud says the bill would also harm patients who rely on Medicaid, including the bulk of nursing home residents.

King opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill. Collins issued a statement saying she has a number of concerns with the proposal, including changes that could allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.

Collins says she’ll carefully examine the analysis of the bill that’s soon to come from the Congressional Budget Office.