After three election cycles of posturing while the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) became deeply entrenched, Republicans led by Speaker Paul Ryan have unveiled the American Health Care Act (AHCA), states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
“It’s 57 pages of repeal this and that little part, and extend a tax subsidy (“refundable tax credit”) to certain Americans to buy health coverage,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “We don’t know exactly what will be left in ACA, but the Republican proposal only impedes efforts to drain the swamp.”
American Medical Association president Andrew Gurman said the AHCA would cause many Americans to lose coverage. “Indeed they may lose overpriced, heavily subsidized coverage, which greatly restricts treatment options,” states Dr. Orient. “But under both ACA and AHCA, the destruction of the medical marketplace will continue to harm all Americans.”
“If ACA remains, it will continue to implode as costs soar and options vanish. If the Republicans do nothing, Democrats will own the carnage.” she continued. “We need to end Americans’ dependence on third-party prepayment of most medical costs, and the hemorrhage of resources into the bureaucratic structure that feeds on it.”
“If Democrats remain determined to obstruct any Republican reforms, and Republicans continue to pander to the special interests that profit from the system, the least harmful action is to stand by and let ACA self destruct,” Dr. Orient suggested. “Then we must fight government barriers to the free market, which will offer far more affordable, effective ways to meet medical needs.”
“Patients, not central planners and managed-care profiteers, need to be in control of their medical dollars and medical decisions.”
The AHCA ends the tax penalties that have been forcing individuals and businesses to purchase insurance products they do not want, and that is a necessary reform. But the AHCA does not cut back on Medicaid and replace it with more of a charity-driven system, and it is the Medicaid bureaucracy that is bankrupting the states while doing very little to deliver real medical care to the poor.
“Removal of the mandates to compel people to buy insurance is an essential first step to any repeal of Obamacare,” observes AAPS General Counsel Andrew Schlafly. “If the AHCA stopped there and merely enacted that reform, then that would be better than trying to perpetuate other parts of ACA.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto “omnia pro aegroto,” which means “all for the patient.”