Physician Associations Urge Caution in Repealing Affordable Care Act

Four national physician organizations, the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, collectively representing more than 395,000 physician members, have written to the leadership of the 115th Congress urging caution in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The physician organizations emphasize their support for “policies that promote access to health coverage for all Americans” and urge Congress:

  • not the increase the number of uninsured
  • to support a viable health care safety net that includes expanded Medicaid
  • to continue to prohibit annual and lifetime caps, denials based on pre-existing conditions,
  • to continue coverage of essential benefits (including contraception and maternity care)
  • to preserve premium assistance and cost-sharing subsidies, and
  • to protect the stability of individual and small group health insurance markets.

The leading national physician organization, the American Medical Association (AMA), also has issued a statement about the repeal of the ACA, urging that “gains in the number of Americans with health insurance coverage be maintained” and that “before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies.”

This latest statement from the AMA seems contradictory with its “strong support” of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Representative Tom Price (R-GA) as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, one of the leading proponents of repealing the ACA and who was the lead sponsor of the 2015 reconciliation legislation that would have defunded the ACA without any replacement plan (that was vetoed in January 2016 by President Barack Obama).

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