Advocacy Agenda 2023-2024

(118th Congress)

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About CHA

2019-Advocacy-AgendaThe Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest not-for-profit provider of health care services in the nation. By pursuing the priorities of the ministry, CHA is working to create health care that serves everyone. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are served by Catholic health care organizations providing acute care, skilled nursing and other services including hospice, home health, assisted living and senior housing. Our advocacy is grounded in the core 

Our advocacy is grounded in the core values that form the CHA Vision for U.S. Health Care:

  • Human Dignity: Because each person is created in the image of God, each life is sacred and possesses inalienable worth. Health care is essential to promoting and protecting the inherent dignity of every individual from conception to natural death.
  • Concern for the Poor and Vulnerable: The moral measure of society is how it treats the poor and vulnerable, who are particularly marginalized by a lack of access to health care.
  • Justice: Health care is a basic human right alongside food and shelter, all of which are necessary for individuals to participate fully in society.
  • Common Good: The health and well-being of each person is intertwined with the health and well-being of the broader community. Access to health care is an essential element contributing to the common good alongside others such as education, employment and a safe environment.
  • Stewardship: Our societal resources are finite, and we must make wise choices for how they are allocated. Health care resources should focus on the well-being of the community and be structured to deliver the care that is most medically beneficial and promotes public health.
  • Pluralism: The health care system should allow and encourage involvement of the public and private sectors including voluntary, religious and not-for-profit organizations, and it should respect the religious and ethical values of patients and health care providers alike.

Our Priorities for the 118th Congress

As stated in our Vision, CHA advocates a health care system that is available, accessible and affordable to everyone and is designed to create and sustain a strong, healthy national and global community. The U.S. health care system should support and promote the health and well-being of every community, including rural and urban underserved areas. We will work with Congress and the Administration to:

PROVIDE ACCESS, COVERAGE AND AFFORDABILITY FOR EVERYONE
While significant progress has been made toward expanding access to coverage and improving the quality of care in our delivery system, far too many are still uninsured or have coverage and care that does not fully meet their needs.
We will advocate:

  • Enhanced affordability, accessibility and quality of coverage for everyone, paying special attention to low-income and vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged communities and those in rural areas
  • Improved investment and effective financing to ensure access to care, workforce development, and the sustainability of the health care system
  • Innovative policy approaches for delivering care, including advanced payment models and telehealth options, to improve access and outcomes and reduce costs through integration, coordination, and prevention
  • Improved access to mental and behavioral health services, as well as substance use disorder treatment, to ensure coordinated and holistic care

ENSURE A STRONG SAFETY NET
The Catholic health ministry is dedicated to serving those in need, young and old, throughout every stage of life, and to advocating on their behalf.
We support:

  • Adequate reimbursement in the Medicare and Medicaid programs with rates that appropriately reflect the increased costs of delivering care
  • Efforts to improve access, care and quality outcomes in Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs that protect the health and well-being of seniors and
  • Policies to assist health care providers, particularly disproportionate share hospitals, rural health and 340(b) hospitals, in delivering quality, compassionate care

IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF COMMUNITIES AND ELIMINATE DISPARITIES
CHA and its members are committed to eliminating health disparities, achieving equity in the provision and quality of health services and ensuring a comprehensive approach to community health. We will support:

  • Policies to end racial and ethnic health disparities, promote culturally competent care and increase workforce diversity
  • Programs and services that address the social determinants of health, including housing, nutrition, education, employment and discrimination
  • Strengthening the public health system to enhance, support and protect our communities and prepare for public health emergencies
  • Addressing social justice issues to eliminate human trafficking, protect immigrants and their access to health care and promote environmental responsibility and sustainability as well as global health and development
  • Furthering our mission to care for vulnerable persons through community benefit programs, strengthening not-for-profit health care and protecting tax- exempt status

STRENGTHEN AGING AND CHRONIC CARE SERVICES
CHA strongly supports excellence in care for older persons, advanced care planning, chronic care management and efforts to coordinate and integrate person-centered and age-friendly health care services along the continuum of care.
We support:

  • Improved access to quality palliative care for those suffering the pain and stress of serious illness, as a core component of the health care system
  • Sustainable financing for long-term care facilities, workforce development and services
  • Policies and regulatory relief to address a shrinking workforce and support quality care and services
  • Improved coordination of care and choices for elders and persons with disabilities to receive long-term care services in the most appropriate care setting, whether at home, in the community (such as PACE) or in a facility

PROTECT LIFE AND ENSURE CONSCIENCE PROTECTION
Mission and identity are integral and indispensable aspects of Catholic health care. We support a life agenda that allows our providers the freedom to serve, protect and defend human life from conception to natural death and allows individuals, families and communities to thrive. We will work to:

  • Encourage policies that promote and support health at all stages of life, from maternal pre- and post-natal care to compassionate end-of-life care
  • Preserve and strengthen existing provider conscience protections that allow us to provide care consistent with our faith
  • Advocate policies that acknowledge our religious, ethical and moral values