By Alan Lyndon
Many of the nation’s medical associations were glad to see the end of the Graham-Cassidy health care legislation, which sought to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a program that ultimately would have resulted in the loss of medical insurance for up to 30 million people.
Here are statements from some of those organizations:
Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP
CEO/Executive Vice President
American Academy of Pediatrics
“While the American Academy of Pediatrics is grateful that Medicaid remains intact and that children’s health care coverage remains protected as a result of the U.S. Senate’s decision not to vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care legislation, we will not rest until we ensure that these gains are not a temporary outcome but a permanent guarantee for children.
“Right now, Congress has the opportunity to immediately pass a bipartisan bill to extend funding for five years for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is currently set to expire in just four days. CHIP provides health care coverage for nearly 9 million children and is designed specifically around their needs. As Graham-Cassidy consumed time and attention in the Senate, needed attention to CHIP was lost, even though a bipartisan bill has already been introduced in the Senate and the program enjoys widespread support among both chambers and both political parties.
“The AAP urges Congress to act, by making two commitments for children: protecting Medicaid and extending CHIP funding before time runs out. Both of these programs are vital to children, and vital to our nation’s future.”
Michael Munger, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians
“The American Academy of Family Physicians is pleased that the U.S. Senate has determined that they will not proceed with efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. We applaud those Senators who rejected this proposal and stood up for health care coverage for people in their state. With today’s withdrawal of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment, we call on Congress to return to bipartisan negotiations aimed at amending and improving current law, not repealing it.
“We urge the Senate to focus on improving current law in ways that expand access to affordable coverage, reconnect patients back to primary care, stabilize insurance markets, and begin to lower health care costs. There are bipartisan solutions to challenges we face, and the AAFP stands ready to partner with the House and Senate to identify, develop and implement those solutions.
“We cannot and will not support any legislation that results in loss of coverage, removes protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and threatens the affordability and accessibility of health care for those who rely on Medicare and Medicaid, but we will continue our outreach to Congress and advocate for meaningful improvements to the law that will positively impact America’s health.”
Executive Vice President
“The Senate leadership’s decision to not bring the Graham-Cassidy bill up for a vote shows that the voices of the American people are very powerful. The bill would have increased costs, reduced coverage, and expanded the ranks of the uninsured by millions.
“Instead of this harmful bill, we strongly urge Congress to find bipartisan solutions for the problems in our health care system. Older Americans and their families need health care they can afford and rely on.”