The Republican Party keeps telling us how delighted we should be that they are finally going to end the “nightmare” of Obamacare.
They tell us that they have a great plan to repeal and to replace it.
But all the really big medical groups in the country are dead set against the “replacement” plan that is currently making it’s way through the House of Representatives. The plan is called (ahem), “The American Health Care Act” or AHCA. Not to be confused with the ACA.
Obviously, the creators of the bill were serious about avoiding confusion.
At any rate, the bill is being touted by President Trump, Speaker Ryan and other GOP leaders as the best thing to happen to American health care since the discovery of penicillin.
The American Medical Association (AMA) disagrees. The largest organization of doctors in the U.S. came out against the plan yesterday. AMA President Dr. Andrew Gurman said:
“As drafted, the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits. 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 AMA also strongly opposes the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the GOP bill. In addition, they say that the bill would decimate the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the vital work that they do to prevent global pandemic diseases.
ACA replacement, as written, is not a bill the AMA can support — reductions in coverage are too critical a flaw. https://t.co/pbXPPuX7wz pic.twitter.com/DjPDypiVit
— AMA (@AmerMedicalAssn) March 8, 2017
The AMA is not alone in its criticism. The America Hospital Association and its members are equally concerned about the new law. Like the AMA, the AHA believes that millions of people would lose coverage under the GOP draft version. Their CEO had this to say about the plan:
“We ask Congress to protect our patients, and find ways to maintain coverage for as many Americans as possible.”
And the American Nurses Association was even more direct and blunt in its assessment of the shaky replacement plan. The group, which represents some 3.6 million nurses, is upset that the GOP is rushing the legislation through before it has been fully assessed by the Congressional Budget Office or other non-partisan groups. They know that it will make healthcare worse, and far less available, for millions of the their patients.
Three of the largest, most influential medical groups in the country have already come out against the GOP proposal to replace Obamacare. They want to keep the Medicaid expansion that is part of the existing plan. They want to fully fund Planned Parenthood. They want non-partisan experts to spend some time looking at the costs before the bill is pushed through Congress.
So when the Republicans tell us that the “nightmare of Obamacare is about to end,” and they assure us that we’re all going to be pleased as punch when their version rolls out, what are we supposed to believe?
Personally, when it comes to medical care, I think I’ll trust the doctors, nurses and hospitals who are horrified over the GOP plan. As usual, I won’t bother to take the words of the politicians seriously.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.