Washington, DC - After the release of the two budget reconciliation bills today, the physician leaders of our organizations, representing over 500,000 physicians and medical students, visited with members of the House of Representatives to urge that they "First, do no harm" to our patients by rolling back key coverage, benefits and consumer protections as required under current law, including the Affordable Care Act. We are concerned that by rushing to a mark-up tomorrow in the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees, there will be insufficient time to obtain non-partisan estimates of this legislation's impact by the Congressional Budget Office, or for medical organizations like ours and other key stakeholders in the health care community to offer substantive input on the bill.
During our meetings with members of the House of Representatives today, we shared our joint principles for health care reform
. They reflect our collective expertise, and represent the health care needs patients present to our members every day. We urge Representatives to utilize these principles to evaluate any legislation to modify current law, and ensure that patients and providers are not adversely affected. While each of our organizations individually are still reviewing the changes proposed by the American Health Care Act, released just hours ago, we share a concern that it will not meet our principles because it will likely result in less access to coverage and higher costs for millions of patients.
We urge House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the chairs of these two committees to reconsider the decision to move forward with mark-up, and instead allow the time needed for a thorough review of the bill to ensure that it meets our overarching principle, "First, do no harm" to patients.
About the American Academy of Family PhysiciansFounded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that's 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America's underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions (5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP's award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).About the American Academy of Pediatrics The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.About the American College of PhysiciansThe American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. ACP members include 148,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.About the American Congress of Obstetricians and GynecologistsThe American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion.About the American Osteopathic AssociationThe American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Visit DoctorsThatDO.org to learn more about osteopathic medicine.