Friday, October 13, 2017

APA Speaks Out Against the Administration’s Latest Moves to Unravel ACA

APA and five other medical specialty organizations are strongly opposing actions taken yesterday by the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

They say that a White House executive action allowing individuals and small employers to purchase certain types of low-cost health insurance plans and the halting of subsidies to health plans that help pay for coverage of low-income families will destabilize health insurance markets and prevent access to care by millions of Americans.

The five other organizations are 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. Together, they represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students nationwide.

President Trump’s decision to end subsidies supporting coverage of low-income families is especially egregious, APA and the five other groups said, raising costs for the most vulnerable individuals and families and for the federal government. 

“This decision is not consistent with the administration’s pledge to provide individuals and families with more options to secure affordable health care coverage,” the group said in a joint statement issued today. “Elimination of cost-sharing reduction payments makes that goal harder, if not impossible, to achieve.

“Our organizations call on the United State Senate and House of Representatives to take immediate action to restore these payments. A failure to address this matter will result in dramatic, if not catastrophic, increases in premiums across the country—resulting in millions of people either losing their health care coverage due to either insurer departures from the market or their inability to afford coverage.”

Further, APA and the other five groups said that the executive order that instructs federal agencies to promulgate regulations allowing individuals and small employers to purchase low-cost, bare-bones health insurance plans will allow for discrimination against certain populations and provides no economic security for those holding such a policy. “These plans would be exempt from consumer protections and insurance regulations provided under current law. By waiving such protections, insurers would be allowed to establish their coverage determinations and premiums based on health status, age, and gender. Furthermore, these plans would not be required to provide the core comprehensive benefits such as vaccines, life-saving medical screenings, prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders necessary to provide the comprehensive care working families need.”

APA and the other groups concluded, “We remain committed to working with the administration and the United States Congress to improve our nation’s health care system. However, we cannot and will not support efforts to deliberately undermine and destabilize our health care system.”

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(Image: Shutterstock/Mikhail Kolesnikov)


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