In a continuing dialogue with Speaker Paul Ryan on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) and several of its Board officers met with him on Friday, June 2, to discuss ongoing negotiations in the U.S. Senate.
"This is one of multiple conversations we’ve had with Speaker Ryan in recent months," began WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. "Our ongoing dialogue continues to highlight areas we believe the Senate should address and then ask the Speaker to support those when the bill returns to the House."
Key on the list of ongoing issues for a nonexpansion state like Wisconsin is ensuring Medicaid funding parity, particularly for Wisconsin’s "partial expansion" population.
"We’ve seen the data, and it is exactly why Wisconsin should be concerned," said Borgerding. "One report shows that federal Medicaid spending in expansion states will be 67 percent higher than in nonexpansion states like Wisconsin, and this leads to a $680 billion funding disparity in the next 10 years. We believe more needs to be done in the Senate to the AHCA to provide equity for nonexpansion states like Wisconsin."
Another key issue discussed relates to ensuring affordable coverage for the approximately 225,000 individuals in Wisconsin who have accessed plans on the federal exchange. Speaker Ryan indicated the House-passed AHCA included additional funding for the U.S. Senate to distribute to lower-income, older individuals via the AHCA’s tax-credits
"As always, we appreciated the Speaker’s open door policy with WHA and our members on the AHCA and many other health care issues," said Borgerding.