AAFP: The CBO Report Confirms Senate Health Bill Does Not Serve Americans

Monday, June 26, 2017

Statement attributable to:
John Meigs, Jr., MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians has had grave concerns about the provisions in the Better Care Reconciliation Act and its House counterpart, the American Health Care Act. As today’s Congressional Budget Office report confirms, the BCRA will not protect Americans. It will not make insurance more affordable. It will not preserve meaningful benefits that cover basic, essential services needed by all Americans, especially those who have pre-existing conditions.

“The CBO analysis says 22 million Americans, including 15 million children, persons with disabilities and older Americans who depend on Medicaid, will lose insurance coverage by 2026 if this bill passes.

“Premiums and deductibles for older Americans will skyrocket. Escalating copayments and deductibles will make access to actual health services financially prohibitive for Americans of all ages. Tax credits provide far less support, putting premium, copayment and deductible costs beyond the financial reach of millions of Americans.

“Provisions that allow states to opt out of essential benefits makes guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions a hollow promise for as many as 134 million patients. Without benefits such as prescriptions, laboratory services and outpatient care, patients have no actual access to the monitoring and preventive care they need to avoid complications.

“The U.S. Senate must act, at minimum, to preserve the coverage gains achieved under current law and not take regressive actions that will harm millions of Americans. We call on the U.S. Senate to do the right thing for patients by working to achieve real bipartisan solutions to further expand coverage and ensure that coverage remains affordable; that the individual market is stabilized; that long-term, adequate funding for the Medicaid program continues; that primary, preventive, and mental health and substance use services are more readily available to all Americans; and that the cost of pharmaceutical treatments is reduced.

“We stand ready to assist the Congress on achieving these and other necessary improvements.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Meigs, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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