Arizona and the Health Care Debate

Repeal? Replace? Repair? The reality is – the new American Health Care Act (AHCA) may re-write health and health care in our state. Over the weekend, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor joined a discussion on the KPNX 12-News television show “Sunday Square Off” to discuss how changes to the health care law could affect Arizonans.

Click here or on the picture below to watch a short clip of the segment.

square-off

AzCentral.com weighed in on the subject over the weekend as well, running a story with the headline – “Arizona Republicans in Congress find ‘Obamacare’ repeal tough to swallow.”

After years of calling for the dismantling of “Obamacare,” many Republicans have come to a stark realization. It might be all but impossible, politically, to do so while ignoring how it extended coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

“If Republicans have accepted that everybody with pre-existing conditions are covered, that kind of dictates a lot of what you can and can’t do,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said, citing one of the key tenets of President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health law.

“The debate has moved, certainly, from where it was seven years ago.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who attacked Affordable Care Act problems during his 2016 re-election campaign, said demands to just repeal the law are not feasible without a responsible replacement.

“We cannot abandon any group of Americans who have become accustomed to receiving health care,” McCain told The Arizona Republic. “The question is how do you maintain it as affordable.”

Arizona’s congressional delegation highlights how the situation has lawmakers off balance as President Donald Trump’s first high-stakes legislative battle takes shape. Not only must they consider that opposing the plan would put them at odds with the president — and his Twitter account — but also with significant interest groups and donors who fund their campaigns, as well as their leaders in Congress, who can yield significant influence over their career path on Capitol Hill.

The next bit of big news that is likely to come out regarding the proposed new health care legislation is the projected cost and coverage reach of the new plan from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). According to CNN.com:

If, as expected, the report warns that millions of people currently insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act could lose that coverage, it could rock the debate over the bill — already facing problems due to Republican infighting.

Democrats will be certain to frame attacks on the GOP bill, the American Health Care Act, as taking away health care from those who have it, putting the onus on Republicans to argue why people should back their efforts.

That could prove a millstone for Republican lawmakers — including in blue-collar areas that President Donald Trump won on a promise to provide better and more affordable coverage than Obamacare — in the run-up to midterm elections in 2018.

The ongoing health care debate has a lot of moving parts and, right now, those moving parts are moving fast! Share your thoughts on what the AHCA would mean for the people of our state. Do you think it will help Arizonans or hurt them? And we’d love to hear why. Generating meaningful conversations around the important health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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