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DFA Round Up - April 21, 2017

By Shalini Pammal
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TAKE ACTION

  • Republicans in Congress are still working to repeal the ACA. They have a new proposal that makes a bad healthcare bill even worse. Make your voice heard.
     
  • Last chance! Register for the 2017 National Leadership Conference and earn up to 19 hrs of CME.
WEEK-AT-A-GLANCE

As the two-week congressional recess period concludes, efforts to revive the American Health Care Act are underway again and some say that a vote is expected early next week. The MacArthur-Meadows amendment would allow states to opt out of Essential Health Benefits, allow increased premiums for pre-existing conditions, and create an "invisible risk pool" that, unlike regular reinsurance, would be administratively complex and likely result in higher premiums. Given that the first 100 days of the administration are nearing, the White House is pressuring Congress for another attempt to repeal-and-replace Obamacare, against the backdrop of an impending government shutdown.

in the balance, as states debate whether to proceed with expansion or address budget shortfalls by ending the efforts. Democratic lawmakers in Oregon have suggested cutting Medicaid expansion to curb the $1.6B budget deficit. Thus far, 350,000 people have gained coverage through Medicaid in Oregon. And in Kansas, hospital closures have renewed calls to expand Medicaid, though lawmakers recently failed to overcome Governor Sam Brownback's opposition to expansion. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently published this report detailing the long-term health and economic benefit that Medicaid provides children, particularly students with disabilities. 

Meanwhile, uncertainty regarding ACA marketplaces continues to put both healthcare advocates and insurers on edge. Healthcare advocates have warned that rural areas would be hit particularly hard if Congress and the administration do not express a clear commitment to stabilizing the marketplaces in 2018. Insurers are still struggling to make decisions about their 2018 exchange offerings given mixed signals from the Trump administration and congressional Republicans about the future of the ACA. Some companies like Anthem, Cigna and Aetna have made preliminary filings to offer plans in the marketplace, while others have seen soaring profits as a result of scaled-back participation in ACA exchanges. This past week health insurers once again pressed the administration to continue funding subsidies for low-income individuals buying on the marketplace; but, were left with little assurance. 


MEMBERS IN ACTION


Tell us about what you are up to! Email your updates and photos to DFAHQ@drsforamerica.org.

DFA Leads on Drug Pricing

Doctors for America, led by Dr. Bruce RectorJustin Lowenthal, MD/PhD student and members of the Drug Pricing, Value, and Affordability Campaign, is supporting the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drug Act, which includes a wide-ranging approach to make prescription drugs more affordable. DFA support was noted in Senator Al Franken’s press release announcing the milestone effort to bring down prescription drug prices. 

New York

Dr. Katherine Scheirman shares that she and Mark Hannay, Director of Metro New York Health Care for All, met with Elie Peltz, Representative Jerrold Nadler’s Community Affairs liaison. They discussed Doctors for America - NY and the #NYDocs collaboration, and described what they have been doing in 2017 to protect patient care, particularly in NY-11.

North Carolina

Dr. Seanta Clark attended a health care rally at Carolinas Healthcare Center in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this month.

Ohio

Dr. Arthur Lavin shares that doctors turned out on Public Square, the center of the community of Cleveland, with the Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. They had about 30 practicing physicians from all 3 major medical centers in Cleveland and medical students stand with the Congresswoman.

Five doctors spoke on the Square:
Dr. Lollie McDavid on the medical-social infrastructure
Dr. Eric Schreiber on Climate Change
Dr. Peggy Stager on Women's Health
Dr. Michael Sideman on cuts to Section 8 and Homelessness
Dr. Arthur Lavin on the EPA 

KEY ARTICLES

Kaiser Health News: Conservatives' Goal to Relax Mandatory Health Benefits Unlikely to Tame Premiums

CBPP: Interactive Map: Cost-Sharing Subsidies at Risk Under House GOP Health Bill

Vox: The looming government shutdown deadline, explained

Modern Healthcare: Community ratings, essential benefits at center of new GOP push to replace ACA

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