Higher Ed Groups Criticize GOP Health-Care Bill

June 28, 2017

The American Council on Education, along with 18 other higher education groups, wrote to Senate leaders Tuesday urging a "different approach" to the health-care bill released by Republican lawmakers last week.

The bill's cuts to Medicaid funding, repeal of Medicaid expansion and other long-term changes to the program would put negative pressures on state budgets, forcing state lawmakers to choose between spending on health care or higher education, wrote Terry Hartle, senior vice president of ACE. The bill would also mean loss of health-care coverage for many college students and large increases in uncompensated care for teaching hospitals, the letter said.

"As the Congressional Budget Office has indicated, the proposed drastic reductions to federal Medicaid funding and the other changes to individual market coverage will cause a significant increase in the number of uninsured Americans," Hartle wrote. "As a result, teaching hospitals will see large increases in uncompensated care costs and bad debt, putting pressure on their budgets and making it more difficult to invest in research and training."

Republican leaders -- short of the votes necessary to pass the bill -- said Tuesday they would delay a vote on the bill until after the July 4 congressional recess.

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