Statement attributable to:
Omar T. Atiq, MD, FACP
WASHINGTON May 31, 2023 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is relieved to see that congressional leaders and the administration have reached a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling limit and avert a potentially significant disruption to health care delivery.
The announced deal also avoids advancing some of the policies that had been discussed in talks around the debt ceiling that would have done the most harm to federal health programs. This includes avoiding the damage to access to health care that would have been caused by instituting work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, something ACP has pushed back against repeatedly. Already this spring Medicaid enrollees have had to face the unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency protections for coverage determinations. Instituting additional restrictions meant to terminate coverage would have exacerbated an already confusing dynamic regarding enrollee eligibility. Unfortunately, the deal does include work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which have not been shown to positively impact employment. However, because of the harm that would come to federal health programs, the health of Americans across the country and our overall economic functioning, it is critical that Congress move to swiftly pass the deal to raise the debt limit. In the future policymakers should look for ways that federal policies and programs can be strengthened to improve health and health care for the American people.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, 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. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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