Begins Process of Repealing Essential Coverage and Patient Protections
Nitin S. Damle, MD, MS, MACP
President, American College of Physicians (ACP)
January 12, 2017
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is disappointed and dismayed at this morning’s Senate vote, which sets in motion the process of repealing essential coverage and patient protections established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
ACP has warned Congress that repealing the ACA will lead to massive losses of coverage and consumer protections for people enrolled in commercial insurance markets and in the Medicaid program, slow the movement to value-based payment reforms, force seniors to pay more for their prescription drugs, and undermine initiatives to prevent illnesses and promote public health. If the ACA is repealed, every state in the country will experience big increases in the uninsured rate, uncompensated care, and potential loss of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
The House is expected to vote on this measure, a first step toward ACA repeal, on Friday, and the College will continue to implore Congress to not roll back coverage and protections established by the ACA, and to evaluate any proposals to change it based on whether or not they would result in improvements in coverage, access, and protections for patients.
Along these lines, ACP has put together a list of ten key questions that should be used when evaluating suggested changes to the ACA. The questions are intended to ensure that proposed changes will ‘first, do no harm:’ at a minimum, patients must be no worse off than the coverage and consumer protections available under current law and preferably, better off.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. ACP members include 148,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), 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 and Facebook.
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