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Regardless of ACA future, Miami should maintain healthcare

To the Editor:

Dear Dr. Thomasson and Ms. Schilling:

The Miami University Advocacy Chapter Executive Committee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has heard numerous concerns from faculty and staff members regarding the possibility that health coverage might be adversely affected by the threatened repeal or substantial amendment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We call upon the university to make the commitment to retain the ACA's important protections regardless of the actions taken in the U.S. Congress.

The ACA protections that must be retained include, but are not limited to:

1. Full coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions.

2. Coverage of dependents up to age 26.

3. Coverage of immunizations and other preventive care services at no cost.

4. No pre-authorization requirement for emergency services and coverage of such services on an in-network basis.

5. No lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of essential health benefits paid for by the plans.

6. Refraining from establishing "excessive" employee cost-sharing and deductibles.

Frankly, we hope that the ACA is not repealed or gutted. But should this occur, the university would not be compelled to follow suit and remove these important protections from our health plans. It is entirely within the power of this university to fashion health plans that go beyond minimum legal requirements to meet the health care needs of its employees.

Insofar as these provisions are already incorporated into the cost of our current health plans, their maintenance at this level would not impose additional costs on the university. Such a move is wise for faculty and staff health and well-being, morale and recruitment efforts at all levels. This translates into maintaining a healthy learning environment for our students which is, after all, the primary objective of a university.

We call on you in your role as individuals who formulate and guide Miami University's health plans to ensure that the ACA's protections are retained. At a time of profound uncertainty and anxiety about the future, Miami University would be wise to take this concrete and meaningful step to remove at least one source of worry for faculty and staff.

Because the AAUP believes in ensuring that all faculty and staff have as much information as possible about matters that affect the daily performance of their jobs, please note that this is an open letter that we will share with the wider constituencies of the Miami community.

Thank you for your attention. The AAUP Executive Committee would be most willing to meet with you should there be any questions.


Miami University AAUP Advocacy Chapter Executive Committee:

Cathy Wagner, Co-President

Charles Victor Ganelin, Co-President

Deborah Lyons, Secretary

Amber Franklin, Treasurer

Don Uicci, Chair, Advisory Council

David Walsh, Director of Research