Maine Hospital Association opposes Cassidy-Graham bill to replace Affordable Care Act

Released on 09/19/2017

The Maine Hospital Association today announced its opposition to the Cassidy-Graham bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Association, which represents all of Maine’s 36 community-governed hospitals, issued the following statement:

MHA opposes the enactment of the Cassidy-Graham healthcare proposal.

The action is moving too quickly for us to have a fresh Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessment of its impact.  However, Cassidy-Graham is not substantially different from the previous ACA repeal bill (the AHCA) rejected earlier this year.  The CBO assessment of that proposed ACA replacement legislation demonstrated that it would have reduced the level of insurance coverage (14 million fewer in 2018 and 24 million fewer by 2026), would reduce federal support for Medicaid long term ($880 billion less federal spending over the next 10 years) and didn’t reduce the hospital cuts imposed by the ACA.  

Preliminary analyses of Cassidy-Graham by third-parties show similar types of negative impacts.  For Maine, that impact is approximately $1 billion less federal support by 2027.
Cassidy-Graham replacement legislation does not help Maine and should either be amended or rejected.
  1. Hospital Cuts Must be Addressed in Cassidy-Graham:  There were four sources of federal revenue that were used to finance the ACA benefits.  Those sources include Medicare cuts to hospitals.  Cassidy-Graham keeps those hospital cuts in place despite reductions in ACA benefits.  Eliminating benefits while keeping cuts is patently unfair. 
  2. Medicaid Cuts Must be Removed from ACA:   Cassidy-Graham would completely rework the Medicaid program, not just Medicaid expansion.  It converts the Medicaid program to a block grant similar to the AHCA and substantially reduces federal support for the program.  There is no reason to include reform to the broader Medicaid program in this bill.  There simply hasn’t been time, hearings or debate devoted to this initiative.  Medicaid wasn’t dramatically reworked by the ACA.  The “per capita cap” proposal should be saved for another piece of legislation that goes through the regular legislative process.  Furthermore, rural Maine people and the hospitals that provide them care are disproportionately reliant on Medicaid.  Rural hospitals had an aggregate operating margin of -1.1% last year and reduced federal support for Medicaid will make this difficult situation much worse for rural Maine.
  3. Cassidy-Graham Eliminates Subsidies for the Individual Market Entirely:  The proposal would convert the subsidies currently used by approximately 75,000 Mainers to a block grant to the states, but only in the short-term.  In 2027, the block grant funding is entirely eliminated.  Similarly, the Medicaid expansion funding is also eliminated in 2027.  These are the two benefit pillars of the ACA.  Yet, as mentioned above, the cuts to hospitals are preserved.
MHA and our member hospitals urge Senator Collins and King to oppose Cassidy-Graham.
 

Press Releases

MHA Board votes to support Medicaid Expansion Referendum

Date: 09/29/2017

The Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors has voted to support Medicaid Expansion referendum.
 

Maine Hospital Association opposes Cassidy-Graham bill to replace Affordable Care Act

Date: 09/19/2017

The Maine Hospital Association today announced its opposition to the Cassidy-Graham bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

NMMC CEO Is New MHA Chair

Date: 06/21/2017

Northern Maine Medical Center Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Sirois was installed as chair of the Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors on Wednesday, June 21, at the Association’s annual Summer Forum at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. 
 

Critical Care Social Worker is 2017 MHA Caregiver of the Year

Date: 06/21/2017

Lois Latour, LCSW, EMMC’s critical care social worker, has spent countless hours in her career helping patients and families navigate the challenges during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
 
 

MHA Urges House Members to Vote No on ACA Replacement

Date: 03/22/2017

The Maine Hospital Association (MHA) today urged Maine’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against the American Health Care Act (AHCA), saying the legislation is bad for Maine hospitals and their patients. 
 

MHA selected to join a national Hospital Improvement Innovation Network to improve patient safety

Date: 10/17/2016

The Maine Hospital Association is working with the Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association on a national initiative to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network contracts are part of a broader effort to transform our healthcare system into one that works better for the American people and for the Medicare program.
 

MaineGeneral’s Chuck Hays new MHA Chair

Date: 06/22/2016

Chuck Hays, chief executive officer of MaineGeneral Health in Augusta, was installed as chair of the Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors at the Association’s annual Summer Forum, on Wednesday, June 22, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.
 

RFGH Nurse is 2016 MHA Caregiver of the Year

Date: 06/22/2016

Kelly Hughes Wheeler has been selected the 2016 Maine Hospital Association (MHA) Caregiver of the Year. 
 

New Report: Maine Hospitals Serve As Key Job Creators

Date: 03/06/2015

Maine hospitals employ more than 35,000 people and help create nearly $9 billion in economic activity for the state.
 

MHA Partners With Let's Go!

Date: 06/25/2014

The Maine Hospital Association (MHA) is partnering with Let’s Go!, an award-winning obesity prevention program of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, to help increase healthy eating and active living wherever kids live, learn, work and play.