Press release: Washington State Medical Association President’s Statement on the American Health Care Act
“On Tuesday, March 6, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act was released. While we recognize that the ACA has flaws that must be addressed and we are encouraged to see that the bill recognizes the need for replacement rather than simply repeal, the WSMA does not support the AHCA as currently drafted.
“At the heart of the WSMA’s Principles of Health Care Reform is access to affordable health care for all Washingtonians. While the Congressional Budget Office analysis has yet to be released, as currently written, the AHCA puts our state’s Medicaid program at risk, reducing access to coverage for thousands of our most vulnerable patients. The act also shifts much of the Medicaid funding obligation onto Washington state. Sufficient funding of our state’s health care program is imperative to avoid damaging ripple effects throughout the entire health care system. Our state is already facing budgetary challenges, and is simply not able to fill the funding gap that would result from the policies proposed in this act.
“Although the AHCA does preserve some important gains achieved through the ACA – mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions, limitation on lifetime benefit caps and allowing children to stay on parents’ plans through age 26 – the new act contains other elements that are not in alignment with WSMA’s existing policies and principles such as:
- Preserving the ability of those who received access to insurance under the original ACA to maintain coverage at affordable premium rates;
- Ensuring adequate funding of public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare in every community so that patients have access to affordable coverage and physicians receive adequate reimbursement;
- Strengthening and stabilizing the health insurance market, including the individual market, to ensure choice and the ongoing participation of a number of regional and national insurers.
(To read Principles in full go here.)
“The WSMA is firmly committed to positive engagement on seeking solutions that bring better care for our patients. The physicians of Washington state stand on the frontlines of care. It is our goal to work toward positive health outcomes for all.”
Contact: Amy Snow Landa, email@example.com, 206-747-5912