American Medical Association and other health groups still oppose the Republican’s health care bill
On Thursday, Republican Senators unveiled the next iteration of their health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
As Mic previously reported, the revised bill provides more money for fighting opioid abuse and subsidizing insurance premiums, however, it still maintains deep cuts to Medicaid that once concerned many Republicans.
But it wasn’t just a handful of Republicans who found the revised bill to be egregious. Doctors, nurses, medical associations, senior groups and more took issue with the bill. Here’s a selection of the responses from key organizations.
The American Academy of Family Physicians
“The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 reflects many of the same flawed concepts that are in the American Health Care Act. In many ways, it poses a graver threat to millions of Americans, particularly children, people with disabilities and older Americans,” Doctor John Meigs, Jr., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians wrote in a statement in June, following the first update of the proposed Republican bill. In that statement Meigs added, “This legislation would have a profoundly negative impact on Americans. The AAFP urges the Senate to reject this path and this policy.”
On Tuesday, the organization began sending out tweets affirming its position that the revised bill is bad for Americans.
The American Academy of Pediatrics
“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,” Dr. Fernando Stein, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote in June.
The group reaffirmed its position on the bill saying in a tweet sent Thursday that the “new Senate bill still fails children.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Dr. Haywood Brown, president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, released a new statement Thursday on behalf of the group. It read in part,
“This most recent version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act is not ‘better’ for patients. The BCRA is deeply flawed, cannot be fixed and keeps getting worse. Its original version deliberately stripped landmark women’s health gains made by the Affordable Care Act, turning back the clock on women’s health. This new version threatens to leave patients with pre-existing conditions without care. Senators drafting these proposals still aren’t listening to America’s doctors. Yesterday, ACOG joined leaders representing 560,000 frontline physicians on Capitol Hill with one unified message to Senators: the BCRA is dangerous for patients and must be rejected.”
In the statement Haywood added, “The Senate should put the BCRA where it belongs, in the circular file, not on the floor for a vote.”
The American Medical Association
On Friday, Dr. David O. Barbe, president of the American Medical Association, wrote in a statement on behalf of the organization, “The revised bill does not address the key concerns of physicians and patients regarding proposed Medicaid cuts and inadequate subsidies that will result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage.” He added, “While stabilizing the individual market is an initial step, more bipartisan collaboration is needed in the months ahead to improve the delivery and financing of health care.”
American Cancer Society
“The revised Senate health bill released today would significantly weaken the ability of millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease to find and afford adequate, meaningful health care coverage,” the American Cancer Society said in a statement released Thursday. Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society, added in the statement, “This bill would leave patients and those with pre-existing conditions paying more for less coverage and would substantially erode the progress our nation has been trying to make in providing affordable, adequate and meaningful coverage to all Americans.”
On Thursday, AARP’s Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond reiterated the organization’s firm opposition to the health care bill, saying in part, “This bill may have changed but the results are the same: higher costs and less coverage for older Americans. We urge the Senate to vote ‘NO’ and start from scratch on a new health bill that lowers costs and maintains vital protections and coverage that millions of Americans count on.”
LeaMond added that the group’s main opposition is to the Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more than everyone else for the same coverage.
These organizations weren’t alone in voicing their continued displeasure with the bill. Groups like the American Osteopathic Association, the American Psychological Association, the American College of Physicians, the Association of American Medical Colleges, The American Nurses Association and more all made statements in opposition to the bill.