Doctors give thumbs-down to GOP healthcare bill


American doctors are speaking out in opposition to the GOP’s healthcare reform plan.

According to The Hill, on Tuesday, the American Hospital Association was the first health industry group to publicly announce its disappointment with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) which was rolled out by GOP lawmakers on Monday.

On Wednesday, the American Medical Association (AMA) followed suit, warning that millions of Americans could lose their health insurance coverage.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Congress and the Administration on ACA [Affordable Care Act] reform, but we cannot support The American Health Care Act in its current form,” Richard Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, wrote in a letter to House Republicans.

The main point of contention, according to the report, has been a provision that could cut Medicaid funding to states, thus halting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Other parts of the ACA, such as a “tax on tanning salons, medical devices and an overall tax on healthcare plans,” have been scrapped entirely. But doctors are not happy with the GOP proposal maintaining a reduction in Medicare payment levels for hospital services.

“If coverage is not maintained at the current level, those resources need to be returned to hospitals and health systems in order to provide services to what will likely be an increased number of uninsured Americans,” said Pollack.

Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the AMA, stated on Wednesday, “By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, the AHCA will also make coverage more expensive — if not out of reach — for poor and sick Americans. For these reasons, the AMA cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.”

The GOP bill bases its tax credits on age, not income, which AMA criticized, saying low-income people will get less help.

A provision in the bill which calls for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood was another sticking point with the AMA.

“We encourage you to ensure that low and moderate income Americans will be able to secure affordable and adequate coverage and that Medicaid, [Children’s Health Insurance Program], and other safety net programs are maintained and adequately funded,” the AMA implored in their letter to Congress. “And, critically, we urge you to do all that is possible to ensure that those who are currently covered do not become uninsured.”

H/T: The Hill

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