7 healthcare groups react to CBO score

The Congressional Budget Office released its cost estimates for the House-approved American Health Care Act on Wednesday.

Here is how seven healthcare groups reacted to the CBO score. 

American Medical Association President Andrew Gurman, MD, said the CBO score shows changes to the AHCA "offered no real improvements."

"Millions of Americans will become uninsured — with low-income families on Medicaid being hit the hardest. We urge the Senate to ensure that any changes made to current law do not cause Americans to lose access to affordable, meaningful health insurance coverage."

American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack spoke in favor of maintaining coverage for vulnerable Americans.

"The latest CBO estimates on the impact of the American Health Care Act only reinforce our deep concerns about the importance of maintaining coverage for those vulnerable patients who need it. In the absence of any other government estimate, the CBO analysis will inform policymakers about financial and coverage impacts. As we have said, any health reforms must be guided by ensuring that millions of people across the country don't lose access to their healthcare coverage. We cannot support legislation that the CBO clearly indicates would jeopardize that coverage for millions of Americans. We continue to urge the Senate to work together in a manner that provides coverage to those who need it and ensures that the most vulnerable are not left behind."

Association for Community Affiliated Plans CEO Margaret Murray said the CBO score confirms the AHCA would have a negative affect on healthcare and insured people who gained coverage under the ACA.

"This bill would force states to choose between denying care to people who need it and vastly expanding their budgets.

It phases out the federal match for the Medicaid expansion and deliberately adds red tape and layers of bureaucracy for people who seek access to Medicaid coverage, which leads to enrollment churn in the program.

There are opportunities all around us to improve the healthcare system. We hope the deliberations in the Senate represent a fresh start, and look forward to engaging in more productive bipartisan conversations to enhance quality, preserve access and control costs."

Association of American Medical Colleges President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, said the CBO score "emphasizes the need for the Senate to take a different approach to improving our healthcare system."

"A plan that will result in an additional 23 million uninsured people, combined with a Medicaid cut of $834 billion over 10 years, will cripple the healthcare safety net designed to help the most vulnerable patients — many of whom depend on the nation's teaching hospitals and physicians for their care. 

We urge the Senate to take an approach to health care reform that commits to high-quality, affordable, comprehensive coverage for at least as many people as are currently insured, including maintenance of the Medicaid expansion and protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. The AAMC stands ready to engage with the Senate to find ways to improve health care for all Americans."

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Richard Besser, MD, spoke in favor of the health insurance coverage Americans gained under the ACA.

"The prospect of 23 million Americans losing health insurance coverage is a significant step backward for the health of our citizens.

Health insurance lets people get the care they need when serious illness or injury strikes, while avoiding potentially ruinous debt. No one in our society should be forced to choose between getting needed care and keeping the lights on.

The research is clear. People who lack health insurance often live sicker lives and die sooner than those with insurance. They receive needed care later, if at all, and are more likely to skip important preventive care."

Physicians for Reproductive Health consulting medical director Anne Davis, MD, expressed opposition to the AHCA.

"Today's report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that this new AHCA still takes insurance for millions of families off of the table. Comprehensive reproductive healthcare would still move out of reach, especially for millions of low-income people, because of this bill's attacks on Medicaid, Planned Parenthood and abortion coverage. This report confirms that Congress isn't interested in addressing the vocal, widespread opposition from patients, families and doctors across the country. We are sounding the alarm: the AHCA will do harm, and it won't keep Americans healthy."

American Osteopathic Association's Senior Vice President of Public Policy Laura Wooster said the CBO score confirms potential negative affects of the AHCA.

"Not only does the CBO score again confirm that millions will lose coverage, it confirms that many states would opt out of essential health benefits including mental health, substance abuse services and maternity care. This means that many plans in those states will no longer offer coverage for those services, and even if they do, enrollees will now be subject to lifetime and annual limits that previously had been banned under the ACA."

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