Moody's: GOP's American Health Care Act is credit negative for nonprofit hospitals

If House Republicans' proposed ACA repeal and replacement plan, known as the American Health Care Act, were to become law in its current form it would be credit negative for nonprofit hospitals, according to Moody's Investors Service.

The components of the AHCA most likely to negatively affect hospitals are transitioning federal Medicaid payments to a per-capita payment to the states, the Medicaid expansion freeze in 2020 and how subsidies are calculated for individuals who purchase insurance on the exchanges, according to Moody's.

Under the legislation, the uninsured rate would rise, which would cause hospitals' bad debt and uncompensated care costs to increase, according to Moody's.

The AHCA's retention of Medicaid expansion and elimination of scheduled disproportionate share cuts for states that did not expand Medicaid would have a positive impact on nonprofit hospitals, according to Moody's. However, the rating agency said the positive effects are not enough to compensate for the credit negative components of the AHCA.

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