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ACP to Congress: Do No Harm to Our Patients

Along with other medical groups, College asks senators to protect recent health care advances

As the future of the Affordable Care Act teeters on the political edge, the American College of Physicians and four other medical organizations converged on Capitol Hill in early February to send a powerful joint message to Congress: Protect patient access to health care.

"As a primary care internist, I see first-hand how devastating it would be for my hard-working patients to return to the days when they had to go without health insurance," said Dr. Nitin S. Damle, president of ACP. "We urge Congress to, first, do no harm to my patients by rolling back the positive gains we've seen in people's ability to seek health care and have access to care that translates into a healthy life."

Representatives of the five organizations -- ACP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Osteopathic Association -- met Feb. 2 with U.S. senators and their staff members. Together, the groups represent more than 500,000 physicians and medical students.

The organizations are united in their belief that any changes to the ACA must not reverse the advances of the past few years.

"Our talking points included the gains in coverage, with 20 million Americans being newly insured, including Medicaid expansion in 31 states, the ban of lifetime or annual limits on coverage, insurability with pre-existing conditions, maintaining primary care services without out-of-pocket costs and ensuring adequate premium and cost-sharing subsidies to make insurance coverage affordable," said Damle, who was one of ACP's representatives in the Capitol Hill meetings.

Other topics discussed "included reducing the administrative burden for patients and physicians and continuing to support investments in new delivery models, such as the Patient Centered Medical Home and Accountable Care Organizations, and other initiatives from the Innovation Center at CMS," he said.

Read the full article in ACP Advocate.

The ACP Advocate is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that provides ACP members with news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care.

Back to March 2017 Issue of IMpact