AHA launches ad campaign against GOP healthcare bill

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The American Hospital Association is urging its members to express concerns with the GOP's healthcare bill. Image: Getty/vinnstock

The American Hospital Association—which has come out strongly against the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act—has launched a nationwide grassroots campaign to encourage its members to express their concerns about the bill.

The campaign will include a nationwide television ad, which will also be publicized on social media, and a digital effort from the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, of which the AHA is a founding member, according to a blog post from the association. But ultimately, members must contact their legislators, according to the post, as “the most persuasive argument” comes from them directly.

“Now is the time for America’s hospitals and health systems to weigh in, so it is urgent for you to tell your legislators that they must not support this bill in its current form,” according to the blog. “The AHA represents nearly 5,000 hospitals and health systems in every congressional district in the country. Our message can make a big impact.”

RELATED: CBO projections add fuel to both sides of healthcare debate

The Congressional Budget Office projected that the AHCA would leave more that 24 million people uninsured over the next 10 years, with 14 million uninsured by 2018. Many of these people would likely be those who benefited most from the Affordable Care Act: children, the disabled and the elderly, according to the AHA.

In a letter (PDF) to Congress, which was penned before the CBO report, AHA President Rick Pollack criticized the bill’s plans to restructure Medicaid and other federal funding cuts.

“If coverage is not maintained at the current level, those resources need to be returned to hospitals and health systems in order to provide services to what will likely be an increased number of uninsured Americans,” Pollack wrote.

Many U.S. hospitals have benefited from increased insurance coverage under the ACA as it drove down uncompensated care costs, FierceHealthcare has previously reported.

The AHA’s ad is embedded below: