NYC Physician Groups Call on Lawmakers to Protect Their Patients
Guest Blog by Mark Hannay, Director, Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign
Health Care is Under Attack in Congress! It’s “all hands on deck” BIG time!
Join HCFANY at our upcoming annual meeting next Monday, January 23 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1199 SEIU, 155 Washington Street, in Albany. Please register here.
Highlights will include:
- Special keynote speaker: Dr. David Sandman, President and CEO, NYS Health Foundation
- Presentation of HCFANY’s Annual “Consumer Health Care Champion” Award to Assmblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. AM Peoples-Stokes has been a key leader for health care justice, serving on both the Health and Insurance Committees, and within the leadership of the legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus.
Important topics to be discussed:
- The immediate fights over the future of the ACA and reproductive health care
- The coming fights over Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Plus
- Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2017-18 budget
- HCFANY’s 2017 policy agenda for New York
- New York’s continued push toward health system transformation: DSRIP, SHIP, PHIP, and value-based payment
Any questions? Contact Taylor Frazier at email@example.com ot 212.614.5541
More info at www.hcfany.org
We at HCFANY are committed to preserving and expanding the coverage gains and consumer protections won under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). HCFANY is compiling resources to make sure consumers have as much information as possible and know the different ways that they can get involved in the fight for health care.
Be sure to check our blog for regular updates on what repeal and replacement of the ACA will mean for New York and our events page for public events in defense of the ACA.
Stay tuned and keep fighting.
- Call your elected representatives at 866-426-2631 and tell them not to repeal the ACA. Just type in your zip code to get routed to the right office.
- Share your story! How has the ACA affected your life? Let us know using our story form.
Statements from New York’s Leaders
- Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the House Majority Leader to “do no harm,” and to reject the ACA repeal and any plan to turn Medicaid into a block grant program or cap its funding on a per-capita basis.
- Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo argued that repealing the ACA with no replacement would be “disastrous” for our insurance markets and discussed the importance of the individual mandate and tax credits for keeping premiums down. She also argued that allowing insurance sales across state borders would create a ‘race to the bottom’ and “violate a fundamental principle of state sovereignty.”
Impact on New York
- Governor Cuomo provided county-by-county estimates of coverage losses (totaling about 14 percent of the state’s population) and direct budget impacts of a repeal ($3.7 billion).
- The Commonwealth Fund estimates that an ACA repeal will kill around 131,000 jobs in New York.
- Families USA estimated that New York would lose $57 billion over ten years and that 124,000 New Yorkers will lose premium assistance. They also provide estimates of coverage losses and the numbers of New Yorkers benefiting from things like the ban on lifetime limits, guaranteed issue, the closure of Medicare’s “donut hole” and the medical loss ratio.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that around 25 percent of New Yorkers (over 3 milion people) have a pre-existing condition that could exclude them from purchasing plans without the ACA’s protections.
National Estimates and Commentary
- The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the individual mandate, premium assistance, and the Medicaid expansion would cause premiums to double and 32 million people to become uninsured by 2026. They also estimate that in the first year, half of Americans would live in places with no individual plans available at all and this would increase to 75 percent of Americans by 2026.
- The American Academy of Actuaries sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi saying that a repeal without replacement would cause the individual market to deteriorate immediately, even with a delayed implementation, and that taking away the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers would lead to “solvency challenges.”
- The American Hospital Association estimates that an ACA repeal will result in a loss of $289.5 billion to hospitals if it maintains cuts to disproportionate share payments, and a loss of $165.8 billion if those cuts are reversed. In a letter to President Trump, the AHA said that “losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained and will adversely impact patients’ access to care, decimate hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide services, weaken local economies that hospitals help sustain and grow, and result in massive job losses.”
- The American Enterprise Institute argues that the ACA should not be repealed without a comprehensive replacement in place, that “health insurance is a necessity of modern life,” and that “households with low incomes will never be able to pay the premiums for health insurance without government assistance.” They recommend allowing people with ACA-subsidized coverage and people who are newly eligible for Medicaid to keep their existing coverage indefinitely.
- The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (within the Department of Health & Human Services) found that expanding Medicaid to childless adults improved access to primary care and preventive services, helped people with chornic conditions get diagnosed, and reduced the risk of personal bankruptcy.
Changes to Medicaid Funding
- The Commonwealth Fund examined the history of proposals to change Medicaid into a block-grant program or to fund it based on per-capita caps. They argue that both would “divorce funding considerations from the real-life needs that have informed federal and state Medicaid policy for half a century.”
- The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities argues that changing Medicaid into a block-grant program would lead to “draconian cuts to eligibility, benefits, and provider payment rates.” They cite Urban Institute data suggesting that between 14 and 21 million people would lose coverage.
Health Savings Accounts
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examined whether health savings accounts are a suitable replacement for the ACA, finding that the accounts “do little or nothing to help the uninsured afford coverage but offer high-income people lucrative tax-sheltering opportunities.”
- The Commonwealth Fund examined the results of the national high-risk pool that existed before the ACA’s pre-existing condition protections, and concludes that the pools are “prohibitively expensive” for both states and consumers while offering “much less than optimal” coverage.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the national high-risk pool and the 35 high-risk pools run by states before the ACA covered only a fraction of the people who could not buy insurance because of their pre-existing condition, typically did not cover services related to the person’s pre-existing condition for some period of time, and charged premiums “substantially in excess of what a typical person would pay in the non-group market.”
Selling Insurance Across State Lines
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Center for Insurance Policy & Research argued that allowing insurance sales across state lines would “make insurance less available, make insurers less accountable, and prevent regulators from assisting consumers in their states.”
Follow up from blog posted January 3, 2017
A coalition of New York City-area physicians joined this morning outside of a federally qualified health center in Manhattan to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and funding for family planning services.
Speakers explained how proposed cuts to these programs would dramatically increase the number of uninsured, harm their patients, and all but destroy New York City’s health care safety net. Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett said, “We cannot remain silent in the face of threats to programs and policies that need to be expanded, like the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare, SNAP, and WIC.” HCFANY member Mark Hannay of Metro NY Health Care for All Campaign, emceed the event.
The coalition is committed to continuing to organize for the protection of patients and communities. They said they will continue to pressure members of Congress to reject bills and government appointments that would jeopardize our nation’s health.
A video of the full press conference is available here.
A coalition of New York City-Area physician groups will host a press conference this Thursday, January 5 at 11 AM to call on the incoming administration, Congress, and New York State lawmakers to protect the health coverage gains made under the Affordable Care Act, preserve the public health safety net, and keep their patients healthy.
Speakers will include:
- Priscilla Chukwueke from the Committee of Interns and Residents
- Bruce Rector of Doctors for America New York
- Bruce Henry from the Manhattan Central medical Society
- Bill Jordan, Immediate Past Board Chair of the National Physicians Alliance and Assistant Clinical Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and
- Oliver Fein, Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program, New York Metro Chapter and Professor of Clinical Medicine and Health Care Policy at Weil Cornell Medical College.
The event will be held at Catherine M. Abate Health Center, 150 Essex Street New York, NY 10002.