Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, of the Associated Press, explains how lobbying by well-heeled provider groups is giving the Affordable Care Act “surprising staying power” and undermining Republican efforts to repeal it.

“For the providers, coverage gains and expanded benefits under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, translate to better chances of keeping patients healthy, and fewer unpaid bills. They say such tangible results outweigh the shortcomings of the Obama-era law, which extended coverage to millions previously uninsured but remains politically divisive.”

“We need to be constantly pushing to get folks to do a bipartisan fix of the ACA,” Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, representing more than 600 hospitals, told Mr. Alonso Zaldivar. “We have to keep blocking and tackling until we get there.”

Recently the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association have written congressional leaders warning of harm to patients if  any of the current GOP  versions of ACA replacement legislation become law.

And such patient-advocacy groups as the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Lung Association, the March of Dimes and others raise similar concerns.

Particularly troubling to foes of the GOP legislation is that the latest drafts of the GOP legislation let  states get waivers of the ACA provision that requires insurers to charge people with medical problems the same premiums that the healthy pay. And consumers who have had a break in coverage could be charged more.