On March 7, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Osteopathic Association released the following statement expressing serious concerns with the American Health Care Act:
“After the release of the two budget reconciliation bills today, the physician leaders of our organizations, representing over 500,000 physicians and medical students, visited with members of the House of Representatives to urge that they “first, do no harm” to our patients by rolling back key coverage, benefits, and consumer protections as required under current law, including the Affordable Care Act. We are concerned that by rushing to a mark-up tomorrow in the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees, there will be insufficient time to obtain non-partisan estimates of this legislation’s impact by the Congressional Budget Office, or for medical organizations like ours and other key stakeholders in the health care community to offer substantive input on the bill.
During our meetings with members of the House of Representatives today, we shared our joint principles for health care reform. They reflect our collective expertise, and represent the health care needs patients present to our members every day. We urge Representatives to utilize these principles to evaluate any legislation to modify current law, and ensure that patients and providers are not adversely affected. While each of our organizations individually are still reviewing the changes proposed by the American Health Care Act, released just hours ago, we share a concern that it will not meet our principles because it will likely result in less access to coverage and higher costs for millions of patients.
We urge House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the chairs of these two committees to reconsider the decision to move forward with mark-up, and instead allow the time needed for a thorough review of the bill to ensure that it meets our overarching principle, “first, do no harm” to patients.”