Statement from UC Health on the American Health Care Act

The University of California Health system is reviewing the American Health Care Act that was introduced in Congress the week of March 6.

As Congress considers this legislation and the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the overriding concerns of UC Health are set forth in two basic principles:

  • That the continuation of affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage is ensured;
  • That the capacity of academic medical centers to care for the sickest patients, serve as vital safety nets to vulnerable patient populations, and train the next generation of clinicians and researchers is preserved.

UC Health believes strongly that any health reform efforts must maintain at least the same level of coverage, care and consumer protections for patients that are currently available.

UC Health is concerned that the American Health Care Act, as currently drafted, could adversely impact our medical centers and the patients we serve. Based on our initial analysis, the legislation would greatly increase the number of Californians who would be unable to afford private health insurance or continue their Medi-Cal coverage. UC Health is especially concerned about the bill’s proposed changes to Medicaid, which could result in loss of coverage for our patients, the unraveling of significant gains in patient access to coordinated care, and, ultimately, higher costs for our nation’s health care system. In addition, maintaining cuts to uncompensated care funds while simultaneously reducing coverage will likely hinder the ability of UC and other academic medical centers to care for our nation’s sickest and most vulnerable patients, and fulfill our educational mission. UC Health is an integral part of California’s safety net, delivering a growing volume of services to low-income and underserved populations, and absorbing hundreds of millions of dollars in associated costs. We also operate the nation’s largest medical education training program, supporting pioneering research and innovation that generates life-saving treatments, as well as advances in care quality and efficiency that lower costs.

As debate on the American Health Care Act and the ACA continues, UC Health urges Congress to preserve affordable comprehensive health insurance; to protect Medicaid without shifting costs to patients, providers and states; and to preserve the ability of UC and other academic medical centers to continue to treat the most complex medical conditions, serve as critical safety nets and maintain our commitment to training and scientific advancement.

UC Health will continue to engage with the California congressional delegation as well as other members of Congress on these important policies and to advocate for affordable, comprehensive coverage on behalf of our patients.

About UC Health

The University of California (UC) Health system is comprised of five nationally acclaimed medical centers in Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, along with 18 health professional schools, including six medical schools. UC Health is the fourth largest health care delivery system in California with more than 3,600 licensed beds, more than 167,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 4.9 million outpatient visits a year, including nearly 368,000 emergency room visits. UC has the nation’s largest health sciences instructional program with more than 14,000 students, while its five medical centers form a $10.4 billion enterprise providing broad access to world-class, specialized care.