Hospitals urge administration to delay cuts, too

Photo credit: Associated Press Photo credit: Associated Press

Hospitals on Wednesday said that more changes are necessary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now that the administration has delayed the employer mandate for another year.

The American Hospital Association urged the administration to delay looming cuts to hospitals under PPACA for another two years.

AHA President Rich Umbdenstock said hospitals cannot be expected to operate with smaller reimbursements if employers aren’t going to expand coverage for another year.

“The latest announcement by the administration is troubling for those individuals who will not gain coverage through their employer,” Umbdenstock said in a statement. “The goal of the ACA was to extend coverage to the uninsured, which required a shared responsibility from all stakeholders.”

“We are concerned that the delay further erodes the coverage that was envisioned as part of the ACA,” he said.

On Tuesday, the administration announced it would delay the employer mandate until 2015 after employer pushback. Though business groups applauded the move, hospitals argued it was “troubling” for the goal of expanding health coverage.

AHA asserted the employer mandate delay is in part because of uncertainty of states’ Medicaid expansion. And without an overall expansion of coverage, Umbdenstock said hospitals serving Medicaid and Medicare patients do not deserve cuts.

A delay of hospital cuts should now be a “key consideration,” AHA argued.

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