Today was a huge win - there can be no minimizing it. Thank you for your advocacy! However, although it's possible that the proverbial fat lady has now sung the blues on the ACA repeal and replace, I want to share with you our lobbyist Rodney Whitlock's perspective. Feel free to copy and paste to share it with your staff/board.
From Rodney Whitlock (emphasis added):
"The House’s inability to garner enough votes to pass the American Health Care Act is a welcome reprieve. There were moments in the last few weeks where it seemed quite possible that we could get steamrolled by a bill that could have become law before tax day. It’s OK to take a moment to be satisfied that we survived the onslaught.
But we are FAR from done. Republicans will not walk away from this defeat conceding the ACA to be the law of the land. They will look at incremental steps they can make. In fact, they have started a real conversation on payment system change in Medicaid. What was once a conceptual threat (block grants and per capita caps) is now an open subject for policy debate. The Administration will now step in to become very active on the regulatory front. We have legislation coming later this year. There is a minibus of legislation with CHIP, therapy caps, community health centers, MIECHV, and SNPs that has to get done. We need to position ourselves for whatever could happen there.
Simply put, now is not that time for relaxing. Now is the time to take the right steps in advance of future conversations.
• The Affordable Care Act has left some very real challenges that need to be addressed. We are willing to sit down and work on a bipartisan basis to improve the provision of health care services in America.
• Any legislative actions must prioritize coverage. We hope that any next steps will make covering people the guiding principle. With an estimated 24M people losing coverage under the American Health Care Act, it was impossible for us to seriously engage in a productive conversation about that legislation.
• We will work with the Administration to develop regulatory policy changes that improve the provision of health care services while legislation is being developed. We will gladly work with the Administration to protect and strengthen the services currently being provided to Americans.