Senate vote starts process to take coverage from millions
Washington (July 25, 2017) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is gravely disappointed that 50 Senators plus Vice President Pence voted to begin debate on still-secret legislation that could result in tens of millions losing insurance coverage. They now must be held accountable to their constituents, and to our members' patients, who may be harmed by their vote. We thank the 50 Senators who voted against it, especially Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), who stood with patients against the wishes of their conference colleagues.
Yet this is not the end of the story. The Senate can still restore honor to itself and the country, and serve the constituents who elected and put their trust in them, by putting aside the current partisan effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and instead, engage in a bipartisan effort through "regular order" to make improvements to the ACA.
ACP pledges to fight on in our efforts to persuade a majority of the Senate to vote no on any bill that may now be offered to cap and cut Medicaid; end federal funding for Medicaid expansion; raise premiums and deductibles, especially for the poor and sick; allow insurers to waive coverage of essential benefits or charge more for preexisting conditions; re-impose annual and lifetime caps on benefits; destabilize insurance markets; and deny women's access to needed health care. ACP will urge Senators to vote down any bill that includes some or all of these harmful impacts on patients.
ACP's 152,000 members will be informed about their Senators' votes and what they can and must now do to help us defeat the continuing effort to take coverage and patient protections from millions of their patients.
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.