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Hospitals Attack GOP Health Bill in $1 Million New Ad Campaign

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(Bloomberg) — Powerful hospital and medical school lobbying groups are spending at least $1 million on television ads opposing Senate Republicans’ plan to change the Affordable Care Act.

The ads ask viewers to consider whether they’ll be among the millions of Americans projected to lose their health coverage under the Senate proposal, Rick Pollack, chief executive officer of the American Hospital Association, said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters.

(Related: Huge U.S. Hospital Markups Dominated by For-Profit Chains)

The bill, which Republicans have put on hold until after the July 4 recess amid growing opposition within their own party, would leave an additional 22 million people in the U.S. without insurance, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated. Hospitals have a lot to lose under the current version of the bill, and the AHA, which represents about 5,000 institutions, last week told GOP senators to “go back to the drawing board.”

“This bill would take us back in time, leaving over 20 million uninsured and creating a system that is not available or accessible to everyone,” Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association, said on the call. The hospital groups, along with the Association of American Medical Colleges, are members of the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, which is paying for the ad campaign.

It’s the second time that the coalition will run ads opposing Republicans’ attempts to change the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare. The group also ran ads opposing the House’s health bill, which passed in May. The House proposal would also increase the number of uninsured by more than 20 million, according to the CBO.

Samantha Dean, a spokeswoman for the AHA, said the campaign’s ads have already begun running and will cost seven figures. She wouldn’t give a precise amount.

The advertisements will continue to run “for as long as needed,” Dean said. 

— Check out The Road to PPACA on ThinkAdvisor.


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