Statement by Sarah Krevans, president and CEO, on the Better Care Reconciliation Act
While the U.S. Senate today postponed its vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the debate around changes to the Affordable Care Act continues. Through it all, it is essential to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable care.
Nearly 20 million Americans gained insurance coverage when the ACA was signed into law in 2010, including about 5 million Californians. The ACA also enacted insurance reforms and established new payment models to reduce costs and improve quality. However, like any other major legislation, there are areas of the ACA in need of further refinements and adjustments. Any changes should move healthcare forward and build on the existing reforms that have expanded coverage and positively transformed healthcare access.
As it stands now, proposals like the Better Care Reconciliation Act, will move us in the wrong direction. We’re concerned about the proposed drastic cuts to the country’s Medicaid program, which would unfairly target low-income families, seniors and disabled patients. We need to remember that nearly one-third of Californians are currently covered by Medicaid. We should also take into account the Congressional Budget Office’s report, which estimates the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 22 million under the Senate proposal. Based on these and other proposed changes that would weaken coverage of pre-existing conditions and essential healthcare benefits, the results could be devastating.
We believe any proposal must protect healthcare coverage, increase essential consumer protections, and expand on healthcare delivery system reforms to continue to reduce costs and improve care. We will continue sharing our perspective about what must be included in any proposal as Congress and the Administration continue their deliberations.
Regardless of what happens at the state or federal level, let’s remember that countless Americans woke up today and relied on our country’s healthcare system. The woman expecting her first child, the person who just received a cancer diagnosis, or the athlete recovering from a broken leg all need the same thing—compassionate, personalized care that they can afford. That’s why Sutter Health advocates for coverage that gives access to all, with vulnerable populations a top focus.