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America’s Frontline Physicians Denounce the Better Care Reconciliation Act

Washington, DC (June 22, 2017)—The physician leaders of six organizations representing more than half a million of America’s frontline physicians are strongly opposed to the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The U.S. Senate’s proposed health reform bill contains provisions that would do great harm to patients by repealing and undermining essential coverage and key patient protections established by the Affordable Care Act and make health care unaffordable for millions of Americans.

Given the broad impact of this bill and the magnitude of the changes made, including to the Medicaid program, our organizations are deeply concerned with the hidden and hurried manner with which this bill was drafted. We are concerned that no public hearings were held and no physician or patient expertise was sought during the bill’s development.

We have previously shared our joint principles for health care reform legislation and our view that the American Health Care Act, as passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May, is an inherently flawed bill that would do great harm to our patients. The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act would also leave patients drastically worse off than current law.

We call on the U.S. Senate to do the right thing for children, women, the aged, those with chronic conditions, and people battling mental health disorders and addiction and reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Once again, we stand ready to assist Congress in achieving a health care reform bill that will improve and not harm the health and well-being of all Americans.

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About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that's 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America's underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions (5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP's award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).

About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in over 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 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.

About the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion.

About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Visit DoctorsThatDO.org to learn more about osteopathic medicine.

About the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

Media contacts:

American Academy of Family Physicians: Leslie Champlin | (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224 | lchampli@aafp.org

American Academy of Pediatrics: Jamie Poslosky | 202-724-3301 | jposlosky@aap.org

American College of Physicians: Jackie Blaser | 202-261-4572 | jblaser@acponline.org

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Megan Christin | 202-863-2423 | mchristin@acog.org  

American Osteopathic Association: Jessica Bardoulas | 312-202-8038 | jbardoulas@osteopathic.org

American Psychiatric Association: Glenn O’Neal | 703-907-8640 | GONeal@psych.org