UCAOA Unveils Health Reform Principles as Obamacare Repeal Advances
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Both chambers of Congress have completed the first step of Obamacare repeal — passage on a near party-line vote of a Fiscal Year 2017 budget which gives Republican lawmakers the power to repeal components of the healthcare law with a simple 51 vote majority in the Senate.  And as a first order of business following his inauguration, President Trump issued an executive order that directs administration officials to use their authorities to undo parts of the Affordable Care Act, such as the mandate requiring most Americans to purchase coverage and related tax penalties.

Along with the likelihood of repeal, there is the uncertainty of how Republicans will choose to replace it and when without disrupting the coverage benefits and protections created by the Affordable Care Act, including coverage for 20 million adults and three million additional children.

It has been widely recognized throughout the healthcare community that changes to the Affordable Care Act are needed as insurers leave insurance exchanges and premium increases plague parts of the country.  Yet, the approach to addressing the problems with Obamacare are deeply partisan.

As legislative alternatives are unveiled, the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) will evaluate them against principles  recently approved by the UCAOA Board of Directors.  UCAOA will support policies that recognize:

  • Urgent care visits should be treated as an essential health insurance benefit.
  • Urgent care should be included as an important element of value-based care and pay for performance initiatives.
  • Site-appropriate delivery of care should be encouraged through consumer financial incentives (e.g., patient cost sharing).
  • High-deductible healthcare plans should not lead to avoidance of necessary care, including acute care needs in the urgent care setting.
  • Health insurers should be allowed flexibility to meet network adequacy requirements for primary care by contracting with urgent care centers and providers.
  • State Medicaid flexibility must be coupled with financial incentives directed at urgent care centers to improve their Medicaid patient mix, and, consequently, to reduce unnecessary, high-cost hospital emergency department visits by this patient population. 

To follow and learn more about UCAOA’s advocacy efforts, click here

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