The House Republicans released their bill to repeal and replace major provisions of the ACA on Monday night. We cannot let this bill become law.
Their bill would make it harder for millions of people to afford health coverage. Leaders in Congress want to rush through the process and make it law by the end of March without any public hearings or even waiting for a score on cost and impact from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The public needs to know what's happening, and the people they trust far more than Congress are doctors and medical students.
|Send a letter to the editor of your local paper today.|
Health care is complicated, but what doctors and medical students want for our patients is very straightforward. We want our patients and communities to be able to get the health care they need. We want equitable, affordable, high-quality health care to be a basic right for everyone - no matter what your age, income, or health status.
Members of Congress and the Trump administration may claim to be working toward the same goals, but their policies would do the opposite. Here are some important changes the bill would make to the Affordable Care Act:
- Effectively ends Medicaid expansion by ending federal funding, starting in 2020; and caps Medicaid payments to states, virtually ensuring the patients that need it most would have reduced access to lifesaving coverage and benefits.
- Takes away insurance coverage from millions by cutting tax credits for lower- and moderate-income people - the people who need assistance the most. Instead of providing tax credits that scale up with financial need (as the ACA does), it would be based primarily on age, which means the lowest income people would see the greatest cuts in their tax credits.
- Increases health care costs for millions by allowing insurance companies to charge seniors five times as much as young people and allowing insurance companies to charge people - including people with pre-existing conditions - 30 percent more if they have any gap in coverage.
- Defunds Planned Parenthood by preventing any federal health care funds to go toward Planned Parenthood's essential services like Pap smears, mammograms, and contraception - even though they are the only provider of these services in many underserved communities.
- Provides tax breaks for the wealthiest by cutting the taxes on the wealthy and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries that have made it possible for lower income Americans to afford health care.
- Rolls back progress on preventing chronic disease by eliminating the Public Health and Prevention Fund, which funds a significant portion of the CDC's budget and important community prevention efforts that target tobacco cessation, improving nutrition, and other evidence-based programs.
- Breaks President Trump's promise of "insurance for everybody."
We cannot let Congress pass this bill. Write a quick letter to the editor of your local paper now. Members of Congress read their local papers, and it will make a difference.
Poll after poll shows that the American public trusts doctors far more than members of Congress when it comes to health policies, and for good reason. We joined this profession to help people in their times of need. This is one of those times. Send a letter, and let us know when it gets published!
Thank you for all you do,
R. Scott Poppen, MD MPA