Spring is here….I think. I am sure you are like me and look forward to the day where we have a string of sunny and warm days. The NCAA Basketball tournament (otherwise known as March Madness) has been very exciting to watch over the last few weeks, just as all of the dynamics in Washington, D.C. with potential health care changes.
I am sure many of you were watching closely the changes the House Republicans were working on to change the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). They introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as a potential bill that they could then repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After getting through the nearly 70 pages of the bill, the House Republicans didn’t have enough votes to bring it forward to the rest of the House of Representatives for a vote. What were some of the changes? The biggest concerns is that the bill was going to severely negatively impact Rural America. Fourteen million Americans were to become uninsured this next year, and 24 million by 2024. Next, they were going to convert the Medicaid program to a block grant or per capita program for all states. This would limit financial resources for the states to run their programs, thus limiting access to either services or insurance coverage for those who are in need. Lastly, there was a projection that those who are the ages of 50-65 could have seen the largest healthcare cost increases. I am still certain that another health care proposal will come forward within the next year. When the bill(s) does come forward, we will keep you updated on what the impact could be locally.
Last month, I spoke about the potential Certificate of Need legislation by our state legislators. I would like to thank both Representative Dave Heaton and Senator Rich Taylor for their opposition to any bills that were proposing changes to the Certificate of Need process here in Iowa. The current process works and helps to ensure quality of care locally along with reducing the risk of increased costs for our patients and communities we serve. I appreciate a great deal all of the support from all of our HCHC associates, Board of Trustees, Iowa Hospitals and community members who went to Des Moines to inform our legislators on the impact locally. We live in a great country, where we get the opportunity to vote for our desired elected leaders as well as to use our voice to work with our legislators to communicate the impact legislation has on their constituents.
I am excited as HCHC continues to advance our Call to Excellence journey in the month of April as our new Standards of Behavior are implemented for our organization. I am thankful our associates are committed in moving forward with this new initiative to be able to meet our Vision statement of being The Healthcare Provider and Employer of Choice. All of our associates have signed off on their commitment. In addition, we have added this as a requirement for our new hires and commitment during the hiring process. We are looking forward to great days ahead as our Call to Excellence journey continues to evolve after the implementation of our Standards of Behavior.
Thanks again for reading our newsletter. If you would happen to have any questions at all, please contact me or Shelley Doak here at the health center.