While Congress and the new Administration have worked toward a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the most recent amended version continues to put health coverage in jeopardy for millions of Americans, especially for those patients who are older and sicker than most, with pre-existing and chronic conditions.

The changes proposed in the amended bill put consumer protections at greater risk by allowing states to waive the essential health benefits standards, which could leave patients without access to critical health services and increase out-of-pocket spending. This could allow plans to set premium prices based on individual risk for some consumers, which could significantly raise costs for those with pre-existing conditions. 

Our priorities remain unwavering:  advancing the transformation of health care, preserving adequate resources for health care, protecting patient access to care, enhancing the quality of care and patient safety, making health care more affordable and ensuring access to coverage, especially for those who were previously uninsured. 

Based on upholding these priorities for our patients and our communities, the NHHA couldn’t support the AHCA bill previously, and we remain opposed to the AHCA in its amended state.  We will continue to work with Congress, the Administration and others on legislation that improves our health care system in a thoughtful and responsible way, rather than dismantling coverage for our most vulnerable residents.

Steve Ahnen is the president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association