All physicians take an oath to do no harm. We train for a decade and work long hours to provide quality health care to everyone, including those who can least afford it. Today, protecting patients means speaking out against the legislation that threatens their access to health care, their health, and their quality of life.
Physicians are a diverse body, with different party affiliations. However, this is what we agree on:
- The proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (“Trumpcare”) is misguided, stripping health care from millions of people.
- The only people who stand to benefit are the wealthiest, while the vast majority of Americans suffer.
- Health care is simply about taking care of all Americans when they need it most: making it possible for sick babies to undergo lifesaving surgery, cancer patients to receive chemotherapy, and grandparents to age with a high quality of life.
Physicians recognize that the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) needs to be improved. We fully support innovation to make health care more accessible and affordable for everyone. Along with health economists and policy experts, we have been eager to provide input to Senate leadership on ideas that work. Instead, the Senate health care bill was crafted without opportunity for input into how we can best protect the health of the country.
The resulting bill:
- Dismantles care for 70 million individuals, including over 30 million children, by fundamentally restructuring Medicaid
- Narrows coverage for mental health and substance use treatment, which exacerbates public health crises like the opioid epidemic
- Allows insurance companies to charge the elderly thousands more for their health insurance coverage
- Slashes funding to state and local health departments that provide fundamental public health programs
- Restricts women from obtaining quality, affordable primary care and reproductive health services
- Provides tax cuts for the most well-off at the expense of the poor, the elderly, and the sick
This is the time for physicians, patients, and their family members to speak up. Let’s fight this bill.
Please share your concerns by calling the Capitol switchboard and asking to be connected to your Senator’s office: (202) 224–3121. (Senate contact information can also be found here.)
This piece was originally published on Medium.