WASHINGTON – A new study released by the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) found that the Medicare-X Choice Act, a proposed public option, “would not only contribute to massive budget cuts to hospitals nationwide but would also jeopardize patients’ access to care … [and] would destabilize insurance markets and compound hospital expenses,” the Washington Examiner reports.

The study’s findings raise major concerns about the negative impact Medicare-X and other Medicare for All-style proposals would have on the nation’s hospital system.  As Modern Healthcare reports:

In a new analysis of a universal Medicare buy-in policy, the American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals on Tuesday projected hospitals would lose $800 billion over a decade through the lower Medicare reimbursements and raise premiums within the private marketdisrupting the employer insurance market where the majority of people get coverage … [T]he analysis prepared by KNG Health Consulting also urges greater investment in Obamacare, including full Medicaid expansion: estimating that of the 29 million uninsured Americans, 9.1 million would gain coverage if Congress doubles down on the Affordable Care Act, compared to 5.5 million newly insured under Medicare X … Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the AHA, echoed the point frequently invoked by the healthcare industry about the public option – that it’s another version of Medicare for All, or single payer.  “It is not practical to disrupt coverage provided through employer-sponsored plans that already cover more than 150 million Americans. America’s hospitals and health systems remain committed to working together with policymakers to help expand coverage and reduce costs for all Americans,” Nickels said.  “However, a ‘Medicare for All’ approach would impede, not advance, our shared goals.” … This message is part of the strategy by broad industry coalition, Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, tasked with beating back Medicare for All.  The group represents hospitals, insurers and manufacturers and frames the various buy-in proposals as “one-size-fits-all” solution that would shake up the landscape.

The study found that among the 30 million uninsured, additional improvements to our current system would result in roughly 9.1 million uninsured Americans gaining health coverage, while in comparison Medicare-X would result in just 5.5 million gaining coverage.  In other words, more so than Medicare-X, building upon our current system, such as by improving the Affordable Care Act, would increase access and coverage to nearly four million additional Americans.  It also found that under Medicare-X, hospitals would be faced with $774 billion in cuts, which would “compound financial stresses already faced by the nation’s hospitals, potentially impacting access to care and provider quality.”

The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future reacted to the study’s findings, explaining why Medicare-X and other Medicare for All-style proposals “are the wrong way forward for America’s health care system.”

“Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care, and that’s why we need to build and improve upon what is working within our current health care system,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s Executive Director.  “As this study shows, using the tools available to us under our current health care system would result in nearly four million more Americans receiving health coverage than what we would see under this Medicare for All-style proposal.  Not only that, this study shows that under Medicare-X Choice, America’s hospitals would face further cuts, potentially exacerbating hospital closure rates and limiting patients’ access to the care they need.  Yet again, the evidence shows that one-size-fits-all proposals – whether they’re called Medicare for All, Medicare ‘buy-in,’ single-payer, or public option – are the wrong way forward for America’s health care system.”

To read the full AHA-FAH report, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the Partnership For America’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.