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HAP Stresses Importance of Protecting Insurance Coverage During Auditor General and Treasurer Town Hall Meeting

April 07, 2017

HAP participated in a town hall meeting panel discussion hosted by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Treasurer Joe Torsella. The row officers held the “Future of Health Care in a Trump Administration” to fill a void in public conversation about an issue that has significant implications for Pennsylvanians’ access to health care, as well as the state’s fiscal health.

Depending upon the actions that Congress and the Trump Administration take, health care coverage and the types of benefits available could be threatened. Certain proposed changes to Medicaid policy also could create a structural deficit for the state budget.

Paula Bussard, HAP’s chief strategy officer, stressed the importance of protecting coverage for the more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians who benefited from the coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion. She spoke to the importance of ensuring affordability as well as access; protecting innovation in health care delivery; and addressing cost drivers through population health and wellness initiatives and consumer education.

Bussard was joined by Jan Bergen, president and CEO of Lancaster General Health, and leaders from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, AARP, and economic and health care advocacy groups. The panelists addressed the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the stalled American Health Care Act; and challenges to patient access and health care delivery. They found common ground around:

  • Protecting access to health care and making sure coverage is affordable
  • Pursuing regulatory reforms that remove barriers to care while still protecting patients
  • Investing in telemedicine
  • Supporting full scope of practice for advanced practice professionals
  • Providing health care literacy education

Audience members posed questions and offered insights about issues ranging from the valued role of Federally Qualified Health Centers in providing care, to the merits of universal health care coverage and single payor systems.

Auditor General DePasquale hopes to continue these public conversations around the state to bring greater attention to the issues elected officials should be considering as they make critical decisions about the future of health care coverage and the delivery of health care services.

HAP and the hospital community remain committed to working with state and federal lawmakers as well as the Administration to identify opportunities to improve the ACA. The association has consistently urged policymakers to engage in a deliberate and thoughtful process to make improvements to the ACA, and articulated that any replacement plan should:

  • Ensure continuity of coverage and care through access to a robust, competitive delivery system
  • Provide stable and sufficient resources for hospitals to deliver care
  • Maintain positive momentum in delivery system transformation and innovation

For more information, contact Jeffrey Bechtel, HAP’s senior vice president, health economics and policy.

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