CHICAGO — Moody’s Investors Service lowered Ascension Health Alliance’s rating one level to Aa2 ahead of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care system’s upcoming sale of $980 billion of refunding bonds.

The action published late Thursday impacts $5.2 billion of rated debt. The outlook had been negative on the rating at the Aa1 level but was revised along with the downgrade to stable. Moody’s affirmed Ascension’s top short-term credit. The deal offers a mix of fixed-rate and floating-rate paper in tax-exempt and taxable securities. Subordinated bonds were lowered one notch to Aa3.

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