Internists express relief over failure of latest ACA repeal bill
Washington (September 26, 2017) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) today said that it is relieved that the Graham-Cassidy-Johnson-Heller (GCJH) proposal will not be considered on the floor of the Senate this week because of a lack of support for the measure. The proposal continued to fall far short of meeting the criteria that ACP established that any reforms to current law, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Medicaid program, and the Children's Health Insurance Program should first, do no harm to patients.
The proposal was more flawed and harmful to patients than any of the previous measures that were considered. It would have returned us to the days when millions of patients were charged higher premiums because they were sick, when insurers could deny coverage of needed medical care like prescription drugs, and when patients often went bankrupt because insurers put dollar limits on their coverage. It also would have capped and cut Medicaid and ended expansion, putting many of the 73 million enrolled in it at risk of losing coverage, benefits and eligibility.
We strongly urge that the Senate move away – once and for all – from its efforts to roll back coverage. ACP specifically urges the Senate not to repeat the mistake of authorizing another try at ACA repeal through a new budget reconciliation measure.
Instead, the Senate should strive for bipartisan agreement through regular order to stabilize markets based on progress made by the Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, immediately move to pass a five-year Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization, and other expiring programs, including the National Health Service Corp (NHSC), Title VII Health Professions, and Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME).
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. ACP members include 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.