Nation’s Largest Doctors’ Group Slams Republican Health Care Bill

“A serious mistake.”

Health Care Protest

Protesters in Denver last week.David Zalubowski/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The largest association of doctors in the country released a blistering statement Monday blasting Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare. “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm,'” reads the letter sent by American Medical Association to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.”

The AMA’s letter is particularly scathing when it comes to the GOP’s efforts to reduce Medicaid spending by imposing cap on federal spending. “The Senate proposal to artificially limit the growth of Medicaid expenditures below even the rate of medical inflation threatens to limit states’ ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens,” the letter says. “It would be a serious mistake to lock into place another arbitrary and unsustainable formula that will be extremely difficult and costly to fix.” The Congressional Budget Office has yet to offer its analysis of the Senate’s bill; that report is expected later Monday. When the CBO scored the similar bill passed by the House last month, it projected more than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid spending. In all, the CBO estimated that 23 million fewer people would have insurance under the House bill than under current law.

The doctors’ group is also alarmed that the Senate bill would reduce subsidies designed to help people purchase insurance and would allows states to waive rules requiring insurers to cover a list of essential benefits and limiting out-of-pocket expenses. 

“We sincerely hope that the Senate will take this opportunity to change the course of the current debate and work to fix problems with the current system,” the letter concludes. “We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect, and we renew our commitment to work with you in that endeavor.”

Read the AMA’s letter below:

 



DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate