Price: ACA repeal bill a 'first step' to put Medicaid program on 'sustainable path'

Legislation introduced this week to replace the Affordable Care Act will make the Medicaid program more sustainable, according to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D.

Price expressed his support of the ACA repeal bill in a letter sent to to House Committee on Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and House Committee on Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) on Tuesday.

Price's commendation of the proposed Medicaid changes clash with concerns voiced by provider groups earlier this week.

The American Health Care Association said its members were “disappointed” by the cuts that could jeopardize care for older beneficiaries. LeadingAge stated that the proposals would “fundamentally destroy the Medicaid program as we know it,” and that the House bill “is the wrong policy at the wrong time.”

The GOP's proposals “align with the President's goal of rescuing Americans from the failures of the Affordable Care Act,” Price wrote in his letter, and “offer patient-centered solutions that will provide all Americans with access to affordable, quality healthcare.”

Price noted that the legislation's proposal to move Medicaid to a per capita cap system would “put Medicaid on a sustainable path,” do away with “burdensome requirements” and allow states the flexibility to manage their own programs and direct funds to the beneficiaries that are most in need.

“Achieving all of the President's goals to reform healthcare will require more than what is possible in a budget reconciliation bill,” Price wrote. “Your proposals represent a necessary and important first step toward fulfilling our promises to the American people.”