Why Doctor, Nurse, and Hospital Groups Don’t Support the GOP’s ACA Repeal

Yes, the healthcare system is complicated. Sometimes having doctors, nurses, and hospitals unified in opinion can be difficult especially one that involves policies and politics.  So when they are unified against a policy stance, that is saying something.

And that something has been both the house’s proposal (called the AHCA) and the newly released Senate plan (called Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017) on how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In essence, many of these healthcare groups think it is just downright bad policy and a bad deal for many Americans.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has already taken a clear stance on opposing the AHCA. They have joined forces with hospital groups-the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, and patient/consumer groups such as the American Cancer Society Action Network, March of Dimes, and AARP.  They have formed an effort called the “Protect Patients First” urging people to call their representatives and say “Scrap the AHCA.”

In a unified stance from this endeavor they state, “The AHCA would erode health protections for millions of Americans and expose them to increased costs and health risks.”

The AMA is currently reviewing Senate’s version of the bill, but they have already stated they strongly oppose the Medicaid spending cuts.

The AMA is calling for action from both doctors and patients to contact both their House Representatives and Senators to protect patients currently insured, enable low and moderate income people to secure adequate coverage and maintain Medicaid and other safety net programs.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) which is the organization leading medical education in our country’s academic medical centers came out with a clear and scathing criticism of the Senate’s proposed bill.

“We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today. Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare-bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs. As the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals see every day, people without sufficient coverage often delay getting the care they need. This can turn a manageable condition into a life-threatening and expensive emergency. Rather than stabilizing the healthcare marketplace, this legislation will upend it by crippling the Medicaid program while also placing untenable strain on states and providers” asserts the AAMC president, Dr. Darrell G. Kirch.

Texas Children’s pediatrician and the current president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Dr. Fernando Stein, released his statement through the AAP website stating,   “The U.S. Senate’s health care legislation, at last unveiled today, fails to meet children’s needs. The bill fails children by dismantling the Medicaid program, capping its funding, ending its expansion and allowing its benefits to be scaled back. The bill fails all children by leaving more families uninsured, or without insurance they can afford or that meets their basic needs. This bill fails children living in or near poverty, children in foster care and children with complex health care needs whose parents have private insurance – all of these children depend on Medicaid, and if this bill passes, Medicaid will no longer be there for them.”

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s (SGO) president Dr. Laurel Rice has publicly urged all SGO members to write their senators to delay the vote on the newly released Senate Bill.  In her letter, she states this “legislation has significant potential to negatively impact care for women with gynecologic cancer.”

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse publicly announced its concerns about the Senate bill’s potentially devastating effects on efforts to stop the nation’s opioid epidemic.  Their Executive Chairman, Joseph J. Plumeri said, “Limiting access to lifesaving addiction treatments- in the midst of an opioid epidemic of unprecedented proportions is disgraceful.”

And the list goes on of the many healthcare organizations concerned and dismayed with the proposed health care bill by both the House and Senate.  Simply put, there are too many lives at stake. Therefore doctors, nurses, and hospital groups are unified because opposing the proposed repeal and replace bill comprises what is right for many Americans and the health of this country.