Indiana hospitals weigh in on future of Affordable Care Act

Politics

INDIANAPOLIS — If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, the Indiana Hospital Association is pushing for the United States Supreme Court to create a pathway to replace it.

IHA President Brian Tabor said protections for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, preventative care and coverage for pre-existing conditions are first priority.

“I think what we need to have is a healthy debate around the best way to cover more people,” said Tabor. “And we need to make sure that is not a Republican or Democrat issue.”

Tabor said he is open to look at plans to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“As far as a full, comprehensive plan, I don’t think that exists today,” said Tabor.

Because of that, IHA doesn’t support dismantling the ACA, but it would like to build upon it.

“There have been some proposals out there that I think are of merit to look at how we might, for example, improve that healthcare exchanges in Indiana. We do need to have that market kind of stabilized,” said Tabor.

A couple of weeks ago, state Democrats invited three doctors to discuss the ACA and its progress over the years. All doctors who participated in the online event agreed it isn’t perfect but said it’s better than before.

“I think going back to the status quo or what we had or didn’t have before is unsustainable and honestly unethical,” said emergency medicine Dr. Frank Messina.

“If we work together and make it better, it can even help others who have been left behind,” added Dr. Vidya Kora, an internal medicine specialist.

“I can’t imagine going back to when our kids’ preventative care visits would not be covered,” said pediatrician Dr. Alan Schwartz. “When there were copays and deductibles that parents would have to meet, often times causing delays in that care.”

All doctors we talked to say if it is dismantled, any kind of new plan would need to include coverage for preexisting conditions, preventative care and funding for HIP 2.0.

“Having that security of coverage means a lot to people at this time during a pandemic,” said Tabor.

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to start looking at the legality of the ACA in early November.

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