March 15, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy Health Care Reform
The House Republicans' ACA repeal and replace bill – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – is headed to the House floor for a vote as early as next week. Congressional leadership is aiming to pass the bill before the April spring recess – and they need to hear from you today!
The AHCA would make finding a doctor even more difficult – the current legislation does nothing to improve access to doctors by addressing the low Medicaid rates or requiring that health plans have adequate physician networks.
What’s more, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) unveiled the impact of the AHCA, and the prognosis isn’t good:
- 24 million Americans would lose insurance coverage over the next decade (14 million next year alone). What’s more, the tax credits are age-based, not income-based, and inadequate to help older, sicker and low- to moderate-income families afford insurance.
- Medicaid funding is cut by $880 billion, which would doom California to low physician payment rates and higher hurdles or patients to access care. The bill shifts the financial burden to the states, low- to moderate-income working families, seniors – and ultimately physicians, who are on the front lines caring for these patients every day.
Most of the 5.3 million Californians who gained coverage under Medicaid and Covered California are also at-risk, particularly in the Central Valley and northern rural regions of California, where as many as 75 percent of the residents are newly insured. If you’re a practicing physician in either region, it’s especially important to contact your Representative.
It’s important that Congress makes changes to the legislation to improve access to doctors, ensure that currently covered Californians do not lose coverage, and guarantee that insurance is affordable and meaningful.
You'll be connected to the American Medical Association's (AMA) "Patients Before Politics" site, then click on "Physicians: Take Action," where you will be linked to your representative to send an email.