Some heavy hitters are stepping up to oppose the newly released Obamacare replacement plan. The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and AARP are all making it clear that they are not happy with what they are seeing in the new ‘American Health Care Act‘ (AHCA) legislation.
Amid mounting opposition from conservative Republicans and all Democrats in Congress, those providing healthcare are overwhelmingly opposed to the House legislation backed by Speaker Paul Ryan, with the AMA calling it “critically flawed,” harming “vulnerable populations.” The AMA joined a chorus of groups, including the American Hospital Association and the American Academy of Family of Physicians, bemoaning the House bill’s lack of coverage, financial details and transparency.
“As drafted, the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits,” AMA President Dr. Andrew Gurman said Wednesday. “ By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, AHCA will also make coverage more expensive–if not out of reach–for poor and sick Americans. For these reasons, the AMA cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.”
According to a report in Fortune Magazine, “The AMA opposition follows action from both the 38 million-member strong AARP, which lobbies on issues affecting older Americans, and the AHA on Tuesday. “This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64, and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long term services and supports and other benefits,” wrote AARP senior vice president Joyce Rogers in a stark, and surprisingly detailed, letter to Congress.”
The American Hospital Association (AHA) has also announced its opposition to the Republican bill, which is no small detail. Hospitals tend to be major employers in practically every congressional district in the country, and they’re not known for having a strong partisan or ideological bent.
The AHCA is receiving criticism from all sides. For example, the CEO of the insurer Molina Healthcare, J. Mario Molina, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying “You’re going to see big rate increases, and you’re going to see insurers exit markets…this is going to destabilize the marketplace.” And Bloomberg.com added, “In the last several days, other major physician groups, including the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association, have said they have serious issues with or outright oppose the plan.”
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) has joined these organizations in voicing concerns about the plan. AzHHA President and CEO Greg Vigdor says, “As much as we can understand the (123 page) bill, we can’t support it. As always, we are willing to work with all to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) so it can better serve the needs of patients and communities in Arizona.”
Share your thoughts on the American Health Care Act and let us know why you either support or oppose it. Hearing from the people who will be most affected by the legislation is critical as we continue to fight for better and less costly health care in our state. Working together to improve health is the cornerstone of our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!