AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA):
“The Congressional Budget Office analysis is in. The American Health Care Act is projected to cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance coverage as early as next year, and as many as 24 million by 2026.
These are people, not numbers—people who all too often will be left without access to regular care, putting their health at risk. Many of them will come to our nation’s teaching hospitals, but they may wait until they are in crisis and the costs and complexity of treatment have increased.
While some may point to the federal budget savings the AHCA would yield, the fact is these Americans will still need health care. America’s teaching hospitals will continue to care for these vulnerable patients, but will be forced to absorb the resulting uncompensated care costs, threatening their ability to support and advance their research and education missions. This weakens—rather than strengthens—the health care safety net and the overall health of the nation.
In the AAMC’s Decemberto congressional leadership and the administration, we detailed several long-standing key principles that we think are fundamental cornerstones of any successful health care system. High-quality, affordable health insurance should be available to all, and programs to support the health care safety net must be maintained at least at current levels until other comparable coverage expansions are available. The report from the CBO shows that the AHCA does not rise to the level of these core principles.
We are committed to engaging with Congress and the administration 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 151 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.