Statement from THA President Craig Becker on Senate Health Reform Bill

Association Declares Opposition to Legislation

“Yesterday’s release of the U.S. Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 was a worrisome development for hospitals in Tennessee. This bill, much like the version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May, fails to adequately address the healthcare needs of Tennesseans and THA opposes the legislation.

“Under this proposal, changes to Medicaid funding shift a significant financial burden to states by limiting the federal government’s funding of Medicaid programs. These changes represent real, long-term cuts to Medicaid and present a major threat for the future of healthcare and hospitals in our state.

“Changes to premium subsidies and the repeal of the individual coverage mandate also put at risk the coverage of more than 200,000 Tennesseans who have gained insurance through the exchanges. Any increase in the uninsured in Tennessee is detrimental to the health and well-being of those Tennesseans and hospitals that already provide uncompensated care at a significant loss, to the tune of more than $1 billion each year.

“Further, the dramatic cuts to Medicare provider reimbursement contained in the Affordable Care Act are preserved in this proposal, while tax cuts to other stakeholders and providers are restored. These cuts are devastating for hospitals in Tennessee and contributed to closure of rural hospitals across the state as others still face uncertain futures.

“As hospitals, we recognize the need for continued reform of America’s healthcare system and support looking for meaningful solutions to the challenges our industry faces. However, the legislation introduced today does not meet these needs.”

Download a PDF version of THA’s statement here.