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Health system reform

American Health Care Act is critically flawed

The AMA reaffirmed its vision for America's health system and our belief that the patient remain at the center of all reform efforts in a letter to Congressional leaders and the administration. We are committed to working with leadership in both parties to improve health insurance coverage and health care access so that patients receive timely, high-quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments. 

The AMA outlined several provisions within the American Health Care Act (AHCA) where the legislation falls short of the objectives articulated by the AMA. These provisions include:

  • The AMA has long supported advanceable, refundable tax credits as a preferred method for assisting individuals in obtaining private health coverage. It is important, however, that available credits be sufficient for quality coverage. The AMA is concerned that by relating credits to age – rather than inversely related to income – the AHCA will result in greater numbers of uninsured Americans.
  • The AMA is concerned with the proposed rollback of Medicaid expansions, which have been highly successful in providing coverage for lower income individuals. The AMA is also concerned that changes to Medicaid could limit states’ ability to respond to changes in demand for services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment as a result of the ongoing crisis of opioid abuse and addiction.
  • The AMA cannot support provisions of the legislation that repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund or that eliminate the ability of patients to receive their care from qualified providers of their choice.
  • The AMA does not support provisions targeting, in this specific case, affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Provider choice is an important element of a reformed health care system, and the AMA cannot support the precedent of restricting access to otherwise qualified providers of care for covered services.

Tell Congress to protect patients currently insured, enable low and moderate income people to secure adequate coverage and maintain Medicaid and other safety net programs.