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t’s been attacked on the right and on the left, and now, the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is running into opposition from the medical establishment.

This week, the leaders of the American Hospital Association and American Medical Association wrote separately to lawmakers, outlining their concerns with the American Health Care Act. House GOP leaders on Monday unveiled the measure, which would roll back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, eliminate the mandate that most people have insurance, and change the way tax credits are allotted to help people buy insurance.

Because the Congressional Budget Office has not yet reviewed the bill, it’s not clear how much it would cost and how many people it would cover, but it is anticipated that many people would lose their insurance.

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“While we agree that there are problems with the ACA that must be addressed, we cannot support the AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations,” the AMA’s chief executive, Dr. James Madara, wrote, noting that the ACA has extended coverage to an estimated 20 million people.

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Madara’s letter specifically took issue with the AHCA’s proposed changes to federal Medicaid funding, the elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and the provision of tax credits based on people’s age instead of income level to help them buy coverage.

The AMA faced some blowback when it endorsed then-Representative Tom Price’s nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary because of his opposition to the ACA. This week, Price spoke to reporters at the White House about the bill and why the administration viewed it as an improvement over the ACA.

In his letter, AHA CEO Richard Pollack expressed similar concerns as the AMA about people losing coverage. Both letters also noted how expanded coverage had helped people access treatment for mental health and substance abuse.

“It is important to recognize that significant progress in these areas is directly related to whether individuals have coverage,” Pollack wrote. “And, we have already seen clear evidence of how expanded coverage is helping to address these high-priority needs.”

Two House committees are slated to start marking up the AHCA Wednesday.

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  • “Single Payer is the way to reach maximum people, lower operating and administrative costs, while removing the insurance company profit incentive that lines their pockets while keeping patients poorer financially and medically. We have among the worst health outcomes of any technologically advanced nation. People seem to love their Medicare coverage, why not extend that to all citizens! And that’s not to say that patients wouldn’t have skin in the game; there would still be premiums depending on income levels. Is that so difficult?”

  • It is NOT Trumpcare or Obamacare. I wish Washington would get together, work with people who have more experience in healthcare than they all do and develop a model to start and then have a Healthcare Advisory Board (HAB) that meets every 3 months to review financial impact, pro’s and con’s, what is working/not working, recommend changes, etc. for an American Healthcare Plan. The HAB is not politicians/industry, etc, and the HAB reports into OIG, HHS, E&C/Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, etc. Partisonship will continue to ruin the healthcare plan and both parties will continue to not represent their constituents. Healthcare is CHANGE and once a program gets implemented, it needs constant oversight. We know that ACA was implemented and Senators/Congressman said we will read after it’s approved and make changes. Does anyone run a business and Healthcare is a Business, that way? There were so many other programs in the ACA Bill that had nothing to do with healthcare. We have the opportunity to do something right and both parties should listen. Let’s take the time and do it right!

    • I totally agree w Fred. These politicians are so busy trying to bully and win over each other to prove that their replacement plan is better than the ACA. I would define the GOP as oppositionally defiant. Another words they know that this plan is going to cost more and cause millions of people to lose health care coverage, but they ram it through and way. Not taking into consideration the CBO figures are totally ludicrous. Not listening to professional health organizations with health care experience is totally irresponsible . I agree that there should be reviews after changes are implemented to make necessary adjustments to keep the new plan on track and to allow for corrections as needed. Otherwise we are going to end up with another partisan plan.

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