ACA Update from Washington

CBO says repealing ACA would result in 18 million losing coverage in first year

The New York Times (1/17, A1, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page that according to the Congressional Budget Office, some 18 million Americans would lose healthcare coverage in the first year if major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were repealed, but the rest of the law were left intact. Over the course of a decade, 32 million people would lose coverage, and individual insurance premiums would double.

The AP (1/17, Fram) reports that in order to draw these conclusions, the CBO “analyzed a GOP 2016 repeal measure, which Republicans have cited as a starting point for their 2017 drive to dismantle and replace Obama’s health overhaul.”

USA Today (1/17, O’Donnell) says that the report was compiled “at the request of Senate leaders of both parties,” and it “follows Congress’ approval last week of a path to repeal portions of the law without Democratic support.”

AMA will work with Congress and the Administration to improve care, achieve better outcomes for patients, and reduce regulatory burden on physicians. AMA recently urged Congressional leaders that before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, they should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies, so patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether they represent a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform. A core principle is that any new reform proposal should not cause individuals currently covered to become uninsured. See the AMA website to learn the latest about our ongoing efforts.

House joins Senate in voting to proceed with ACA repeal

The New York Times (1/13, Kaplan, Pear, Subscription Publication) reported that on Friday, “the House joined the Senate…in laying the groundwork for speedy action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, approving the budget blueprint passed by the Senate on Thursday that would allow Republicans to tear up the health care law without the prospect of a Senate filibuster.” According to the Times, “The House vote…places Republicans squarely in position to fulfill their long-held desire to dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.”

ACA repeal could put funding for state public health programs in jeopardy

USA Today (1/16, O’Donnell) reports that congressional efforts to repeal the ACA threaten funding for “many state public health and prevention programs.” A provision of the law “authorized a federal fund to prevent the soaring incidence of chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.” While the Prevention and Public Health Fund “has survived about 60 votes in Congress,” supporters are concerned that an ACA repeal “could eliminate the fund at a time when it is needed to reduce the $3.2 trillion spent to treat illness and disease with medical services and drugs.”