Advocacy

Accessible and Affordable Health Care for Everyone

Implementing and Improving the Affordable Care Act

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March 2017

THE ISSUE
As a matter of human dignity, everyone is entitled to health care. Like any basic element of life, health care sustains us and should always be accessible and affordable for everyone — where they need it, when they need it, no exceptions and no interruptions.

The consequences of being uninsured are significant. Because uninsured patients do not receive the right care in the right place, they are up to four times as likely as insured patients to require avoidable hospitalizations and emergency care.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has taken significant steps toward expanding access to health insurance coverage and improving the quality of care in our delivery system, but more work needs to be done. In March 2017, Congress began considering legislation to repeal and replace the ACA. CHA will continue to work with Congress to ensure any legislative proposal preserves and expands access, affordability, coverage and quality within our health care system.

MINISTRY TRADITION
Our mission, in accordance with Catholic social teaching and values, calls us to serve as advocates for everyone, particularly the poor and other vulnerable populations. We believe that health care is a basic human right. To that end, health care should be considered an essential building block for a just and free society, just as education is. As the Catholic health ministry, we are committed to moving the nation toward a more just and equitable health care system that ensures health care for everyone.

CHA'S POSITION AND ACTIVITIES
CHA's Vision for U.S. Health Care establishes our principles for a just and equitable health care system and is derived from our core values: human dignity; concern for the poor and vulnerable; justice; common good; stewardship; and pluralism.

  • Principles For Health Care Reform
    • Available and accessible to everyone, paying special attention to the poor and vulnerable;
    • Health and prevention oriented, with the goal of enhancing the health status of communities;
    • Sufficiently and fairly financed;
    • Transparent and consensus-driven, in allocation of resources, and organized for cost-effective care and administration;
    • Patient centered, and designed to address health needs at all stages of life, from conception to natural death; and
    • Safe, effective and designed to deliver the greatest possible quality

In accordance with our Vision, the Catholic health ministry continues to advocate a health care system that serves everyone. During the 115th Congress, we will work to:

    • Enhance affordability, accessibility and quality of coverage for all, paying special attention to low-income and vulnerable individuals
    • Ensure continued access and coverage for the approximately 20 million Americans who have gained insurance coverage under the ACA, including those with pre-existing and chronic conditions
    • Pursue innovative policy approaches for delivering care such as telemedicine, to improve access and outcomes and reduce costs through integration, coordination and prevention
    • Improve access to mental and behavioral health services to ensure coordinated and holistic care
    • Ensure the availability of care in both rural and urban underserved areas