Michael Griffin on How AHCA Affects Patients in New Orleans

The current form of the American Health Care Act would greatly impact patients in New Orleans, where a high percentage of people have chronic diseases that count as preexisting conditions, explained Michael Griffin, president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Services.

The current form of the American Health Care Act would greatly impact patients in New Orleans, where a high percentage of people have chronic diseases that count as preexisting conditions, explained Michael Griffin, president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Services.

Transcript

If the American Health Care Act is passed in its current form, what impact would it have on individuals that you serve in the New Orleans area?

Well the first question is "in its current form." So the form keeps changing every day and as we are here in Arizona, the debate is happening on the current replace/repeal effort. As I understand it today, part of this debate is about preexisting conditions that are part of the Affordable Care Act and that are covered, as well as the individual mandates are a portion, there's also some discussion about Medicaid expansion and whether individuals can stay on expanded Medicaid even if they get off and get back on.

And so all of those things will effect us heavily. My patient population, I have a very high percentage of chronically ill patients. So they already have preexisting conditions—hypertensive, asthmatic, diabetic patients—and I can say upwards of 50% of my patient base would be impacted by today's debate on preexisting conditions. If those preexisting conditions go into a higher risk pool or something that the state has to cover, we're in a very poor state in Louisiana, and being one of the less wealthy states that coverage would not happen for my patient population.