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Internal Medicine Physicians Say Senate Reconciliation Deal Provisions Would Improve Health and Access to Health Care

Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP
President, ACP

WASHINGTON July 28, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is pleased to see that the Senate has announced an agreement on a federal budget reconciliation bill that will improve access to health care in our country. Moreover, we are thrilled to see that the legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, includes many of the health care policies that we informed the Senate were important to helping Americans better afford their medications and health care coverage. These policies include extending Affordable Care Act subsidies for three additional years, allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with manufacturers, capping out-of-pocket drug costs, reducing carbon pollution, and advancing clean energy solutions.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies will let Medicare leverage their considerable purchasing power to ensure that our seniors are able to access the medications they need. Any prescription drug can only be as effective as a patient’s ability to access it; too many Medicare beneficiaries are unable to afford medications that would help them live healthier lives. The legislation also includes an extension of increased premium subsidies for health care plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. When the increased subsidies were in put into place, we saw a record number of people purchase health care coverage. Our patients want and need to have health insurance, they just need to be able to afford it. The extension of premium subsidies included in the reconciliation deal will help to make that a reality.

Finally, we are glad to see that the legislation includes provisions that would help to fund clean energy projects and combat the climate crisis by reducing carbon pollution by roughly 40 percent by 2030.  Climate change is already harming the health of millions of people in America and throughout the world. We see increased rates of respiratory and heat-related illnesses, increased prevalence of diseases passed by insects, water-borne diseases, and food and water insecurity promoting malnutrition. The elderly, the chronically ill, and the poor are especially vulnerable to these potential health consequences. We need policies that will help to ensure that our planet is healthy enough to support healthy humans.

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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 (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, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org