DC (Sept. 26, 2017)—Representing more than a half-million of America's
frontline physicians and medical students, leaders from six major
medical organizations including the American Academy of Family
Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of
Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,
the American Osteopathic Association and the American Psychiatric
Association, issued the following joint statement about the revised
version of the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act
We are relieved that this bill, which would have done so much harm to
so many will not be voted on this week because the U.S. Senate failed
to gain a majority in favor. The policies put forward in the
Graham-Cassidy bill would have dramatically increased the number of
uninsured in our country. The bill would have put vulnerable patients
with pre-existing conditions at risk of being priced out of health
insurance. It would have taken away patients‘ assurances that their
health insurance would cover essential benefits like maternity care and
mental health services.
We urge the Senate and the House to move on, for good, from their
efforts to roll back coverage. Instead Congress should strive for
bipartisan agreement, through regular order, to make improvements to our
health care system.
As outlined in testimony
that we sent to the Senate HELP committee, we believe there are
bipartisan solutions that would strengthen and improve the health
insurance market. Immediately, we believe that Congress must do what
they can to execute open enrollment in a good faith manner. Millions of
Americans remain unaware of the types of assistance available to help
them afford and enroll in health insurance. Congress must adequately
fund education and outreach efforts to tell consumers about the
assistance available to them.
We also call on Congress to take immediate action
to enact a five-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health
Insurance Program (CHIP) in order to ensure that our patients have
ongoing access to this crucial affordable and comprehensive coverage
option. Federal CHIP funding is set to expire at the end of the week.
Failure to extend funding would put health coverage for millions of
children and pregnant women in jeopardy.
Physician leaders from our organizations will be on Capitol Hill
tomorrow meeting with members of the Senate to tell them why these
things are of critical importance to the health of our nation. We look
forward to working with Congress on these immediate concerns and on
other health care reforms that would improve and not harm the health of
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical
students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to
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 Physicians
The American College of Physicians
is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with
members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes
152,000 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 Gynecologists
The 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 58,000 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 Association
The 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.
About the American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest
medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest
psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician
members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and
research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to
quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information,
please visit www.psychiatry.org.