ACA Repeal and the AHCA: A Letter from CPHA President Brian Turner

March 17, 2017

Good afternoon,

Over the past two weeks, Republicans in the U.S. Congress have advanced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the long anticipated legislative effort to begin repealing major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While the Trump Administration and Republicans have clearly stated their goal is to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan for better affordability, choice and coverage, the current version of the ACHA seriously jeopardizes the lives of Americans.

The Colorado Public Health Association (CPHA) is the state’s largest and oldest public health association, representing a diverse network of public health, health care and social service professionals, advocates, and concerned citizens from across Colorado’s urban, rural and frontier communities. CPHA is committed to making our state the healthiest in the nation, and our nation the healthiest in the world. With these goals in mind, we cannot support the AHCA in its current form.

More than 20 million people currently have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act. These millions of Americans have gained health care through the marketplaces and through expansion of the Medicaid program. This coverage is a critical lifeline for these individuals and paramount to helping achieve better health outcomes and reducing long term health care costs. While there are improvements that can be made, the Affordable Care Act has been moving our country in the right direction.
In a dramatic shift, the new Republican AHCA plan would ultimately increase the number of Americans who are uninsured by 24 million, many among our most vulnerable populations. This would harm patients, limit providers’ ability to offer treatment, and place a greater burden on states to fill in funding gaps for uncompensated care.

The proposed ACA repeal also eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an important source of funding that helps protect the United States against preventable disease, foodborne illnesses, and deadly infections contracted in hospitals, among many other important public health functions. In Colorado, these resources also target critical issues like childhood obesity, breast and cervical cancer screenings, tobacco use, injury prevention, and a coordinated, statewide approach to fighting chronic disease. Killing the Prevention Fund puts these programs and lives at risk.

CPHA opposes the current draft of the AHCA and we urge our members, partners and stakeholders to join us in our shared commitment to a Colorado that is a thriving, competitive and sustainable place to live and work for all. We are here to help you stay informed on the issues, engaged with your communities and vocal with key decision-makers.

CPHA partners with the American Public Health Association to advocate on issues at the federal level. Visit the APHA Advocacy website and use the resources below to be a champion for public health! The time is now!
Key Resources

With gratitude,
Brian Turner