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AMA Pledges to Prevent Loss of Americans’ Healthcare Coverage

What will happen to healthcare coverage and the Affordable Care Act with a Republican-controlled Congress?

By Vera Gruessner

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement yesterday reaffirming its commitment to ensuring that every American who currently has healthcare coverage will continue to have insurance and access to medical care.

Affordable Care Act

In particular, the AMA statement targets healthcare reform that expands access to medical care for all patients. Ever since the presidential and Congressional election took a Republican stronghold, many medical organizations and patient advocacy groups have shown concern on whether or not the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be repealed. The AMA stands firm on keeping patients with insurance from losing their healthcare coverage as well as advancing high quality medical treatments across the country.

“A core principle is that any new reform proposal should not cause individuals currently covered to become uninsured. We will also advance recommendations to support the delivery of high quality patient care.  Policymakers have a notable opportunity to also reduce excessive regulatory burdens that diminish physicians’ time devoted to patient care and increase costs,” said Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., President of the American Medical Association. “Health care reform is a journey involving many complex issues and challenges, and the AMA is committed to working with federal and state policymakers to advance reforms to improve the health of the nation.”

In an AMA policy framework, a number of vital topics are addressed regarding healthcare reform. The organization is dedicated to keeping patients who currently have healthcare coverage from losing their insurance, which is why the AMA supports ensuring any insurance bought with a tax credit to count towards hospital care, surgical needs, and catastrophic coverage.

“The AMA has long advocated for health insurance coverage for all Americans, as well as pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice, and universal access for patients. The same core principles and priorities will guide future AMA advocacy efforts regarding the Affordable Care Act. The AMA remains committed to improving health insurance coverage and health care access so that patients receive timely, high quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments,” the policy framework stated.

Some other key provisions for healthcare reform the AMA supports include:

  1. Capping employee tax exclusion for employer-sponsored healthcare coverage so that insurance becomes more affordable

  2. Requiring all Americans capable of affording private health plans to do so with the help of tax penalties or similar taxation structures to accomplish this

  3. Requiring health plans to cover those with pre-existing medical conditions

  4. Increasing the number of health plan choices for consumers such as incorporating health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans

  5. Keeping young adults on their parents’ healthcare coverage and actually extending the age to 28 years old

While organizations like the American Medical Association will fight for the right among consumers to keep their healthcare coverage, the Republican-controlled Congress could play a significant role in cutting back some significant portions of the Affordable Care Act. This includes eliminating tax subsidies for the cost of premiums among consumers purchasing plans on the health insurance exchanges as well as cutting back on the funding needed for Medicaid expansion.

Some of the goals for healthcare reform coming from House Speaker Paul Ryan has included a greater focus on preventive services and population health management with broad coverage options shifted onto individual states instead of giving the federal government more control.

The future for the Affordable Care Act will soon be seen when the President Elect takes office in January. However, major healthcare organizations like the American Medical Association will work to keep healthcare coverage available for all patients who are currently insured.


Dig Deeper:

How the Affordable Care Act Changed the Face of Health Insurance

The Progress and Challenges of the Affordable Care Act


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