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America’s Frontline Physicians Call for Texas vs. Azar Decision on Affordable Care Act to Be Reversed on Appeal

12/18/2018

In response to the ruling to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas vs. Azar, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Physicians (ACP), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and American Psychiatric Association (APA), collectively representing America's frontline physicians, issued this statement:

"Our organizations, which represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students, stand together in strong disagreement with the Texas vs. Azar decision. If upheld, this ruling would be devastating to our patients. Not only would it put coverage in jeopardy for 20 million Americans and eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, the ruling would also:

  • End funding for Medicaid expansion, the source of coverage for more than 15 million low-income Americans in 32 expansion states. In addition, voters in several other states passed measures to expand Medicaid coverage to as many as another 500,000 people combined, based on an expectation that federal expansion funding would continue.
  • End coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing for beneficiaries on Medicare; other insurers would be allowed to exclude coverage for preventive services to adults and children, including women's preventive services.
  • End coverage for young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' plans.
  • Potentially harm coverage for foster children aging out of the system.
  • Eliminate prohibition on lifetime and annual limits for health insurance.
  • End protections for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace and coverage of breastfeeding supplies and counseling.
  • Eliminate coverage for 2.8 million Americans with substance use disorders and 1.3 million Americans living with serious mental illness.
  • Invalidate reforms to the Indian Health Service.
  • Jeopardize Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation delivery system reforms intended to achieve better outcomes at lower cost.
  • Threaten continuation of programs funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund
  • Reverse progress on closing the Medicare Part D "donut hole" resulting in seniors paying more for their medications.
  • Threaten National Health Service Corps scholarships and loan forgiveness that are partially funded through the ACA.

"As frontline physicians who care for patients in rural, urban, wealthy and low-income communities, we call for immediate appeal of the decision. In addition, we urge the U.S. Congress and States to stand in strong support of protecting patient access to comprehensive health insurance coverage and join us in advocating for swift appeal. Finally, we urge the administration to continue implementing the law so our patients can continue receiving the care they need.

"Our message is simple: No one should lose the coverage they have."

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About American Academy of Family Physicians

Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP's award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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 Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 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, ACOG 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. www.acog.org

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 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related , 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, Facebook, and Instagram.

About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 137,000 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 37,800 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.