Patient care could take a hit if ACA is repealed

Patient care could take a hit if ACA is repealed

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Garden Park Medical Center CEO Brenda Waltz isn't holding back her concern over President-Elect Donald Trump and Congress' desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals have sent letters to Trump, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence and members of Congress about what would happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. They worry that if it's repealed and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid aren't restored, patients will lose access to the medical care they need. That's why they are offering suggestions on what would help.

In the letter the two hospital groups say:

"We respectfully urge you to also include in such legislation the prospective repeal of funding reductions for Medicare and Medicaid hospital services for patient care that were included in the ACA for purposes of helping fund coverage for the insured." 

Waltz agrees. She said there's got to be more to the plan of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"You just can't repeal Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. Right now, more than 20 million people, citizens in the United States, have Obamacare. If you just pull it out, what's going to happen to those folks? Hospital margins are going to go negative. These people aren't going to have access to healthcare," said Waltz.

She said if Trump and Congress don't have a plan beyond repealing the ACA, then hospitals and small clinics are going to have a difficult time providing certain services to patients since they won't be able to shoulder the health care costs on their own.

"Therefore, everyone should be concerned about the healthcare they are receiving in their community. We want to make sure that every citizen is taken care of," Waltz added.

Waltz said congressional leaders must look very seriously into the issue before the Affordable Care Act is repealed to avoid impacting patient care.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.