AAMC Statement on the MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) introduced by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.):

“This week, the House could vote on a new version of the American Health Care Act that includes the MacArthur amendment. Unfortunately, the amendment does not address the limitations in the original measure, such as making high-quality, affordable health insurance available to all, and maintaining programs to support the health care safety net—at least at current levels—until other comparable coverage expansions are available.

The amendment’s treatment of essential health benefits and health status underwriting dilutes protections for many Americans and would leave individuals with preexisting conditions facing higher premiums and reduced access to vital care.

The shortcomings in the underlying bill remain the same. The original analysis from the Congressional Budget Office indicated that 14 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage as early as next year, and as many as 24 million by 2024. Nothing in the bill has changed that alters the fact that this legislation would lead to fewer Americans with quality insurance, less affordable coverage for those who have it, and the destabilization of the current Medicaid program.

We continue to urge members of Congress to engage with the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and other stakeholders to find ways to achieve high quality health care for all Americans.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.