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. Fred Upton (R-Mich.):
“The AAMC appreciates Representative Upton for his vocal support of individuals with preexisting conditions and his effort to improve the American Health Care Act to protect the nation’s most vulnerable patients. While we share his concerns, the most recent amendment does not protect access to affordable coverage for these individuals.
As drafted, the AHCA would allow states to waive current protections for individuals with preexisting conditions who have a gap in coverage, leaving them vulnerable to insurers who may charge higher premiums based on their more fragile health status. The amendment appears to offer little relief for these skyrocketing costs for the sick; what relief it would provide is impossible for any patient or family to predict. A modest amount of new funding may incrementally reduce premiums for those with preexisting conditions, but only for five years. Patients will still be at risk, leaving those with cancer, congenital heart conditions, mental illness, or other needs with access to coverage they cannot afford.”
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.