AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the release of the revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017:
“Notwithstanding the widespread concerns with the original Better Care Reconciliation Act, the revised bill released today still falls woefully short in providing Americans with comprehensive, affordable health coverage, and will leave millions without any coverage at all.
As Congress has discussed repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have held steadfast that any replacement bill should at least maintain current levels of health coverage, not weaken Medicaid, and be the result of a deliberative and transparent process. The first version of the BCRA failed to meet these criteria, as does the revised version.
The changes do nothing to address provisions that would cripple Medicaid and put added financial pressure on state budgets and health care providers. Additionally, allowing insurers to sell plans without meaningful coverage will hurt those with preexisting conditions and further destabilize insurance markets. Finally, providing time-limited money to help individuals purchase insurance does not give patients the long-term health security they need.
The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals see firsthand that when our patients do not have sufficient coverage, they often delay seeking much-needed care, turning manageable conditions into dangerous and costly emergencies.
We urge members of the Senate to reject this bill and work together to craft legislation that will protect Americans’ health care and will not result in millions more Americans uninsured. The AAMC stands ready to work with Congress to shape a solution that improves the health of all.”
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 152 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.