The largest doctors group in America on Thursday blasted House Republicans for their passage of a bill that the medical professionals believe would be detrimental to the health of their patients.
The American Medical Association (AMA) painted the GOP plan, known as the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), as a flaw solution to the problems created by the Affordable Care Act (know as ACA or Obamacare).
House Republicans passed the AHCA in a 217-to-213 vote along party lines on Thursday afternoon.
“The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question,” Dr. Andrew W. Gurman, president of the AMA, said in a statement. “Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system.”
The AHCA does not fully repeal and replace Obamacare, but it does tackle some of its key provisions, including giving states the rights to waive restrictions on covering people with pre-existing conditions as well as rules that prevent lifetime coverage of 10 “essential benefits.” It also cuts Medicaid spending and eliminates the “individual mandate” that imposes tax penalties on Americans who forego coverage, replacing it with an age-based tax credit system.
Gurman urged the Senate and the Trump administration to “work with physician, patient, hospital and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations.”
It is highly unlikely the AHCA will pass in its current form. In fact, Senate Republicans are reportedly not even planning to vote on the bill, instead opting to write their own legislation.