CBO Report Confirms AAFP Concern over Negative Impact of American Health Care Act

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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

"Today’s Congressional Budget Office report analyzing the American Health Care Act confirms the concerns the American Academy of Family Physicians has had about the negative impact that this legislation would have on public health. The report shows the AHCA would result in 23 million Americans – including 3 million people with employer-sponsored coverage and 14 million Americans who depend on Medicaid – losing their insurance coverage.

"It also verifies that a significant proportion of Americans – one-sixth of the U.S. population – face the loss of meaningful coverage because they live in states expected to obtain waivers on coverage for essential health benefits and community ratings requirements. Such states could return to medical underwriting and allow insurers to discriminate against individuals based on their gender, age and health status. These practices would also threaten the financial stability of millions of individuals and families, if, for example, protections against annual and lifetime spending caps are waived.

"The CBO report also confirms the devastating impact the AHCA would have on low-income families. AHCA’s Medicaid cuts – including greatly limiting the federal financial commitment to Medicaid, halting the Medicaid expansion, and reducing benefits for the newly enrolled – will deprive 14 million low-income individuals, children and elderly patients of care.

"The U.S. Senate must act to, at minimum, 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. 6252, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 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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