Healthcare leaders and advocacy groups universally panned the Better Care Reconciliation Act, citing concerns that the bill will harm rather than help America’s most vulnerable patients. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the BCRA would leave 22 million Americans without health coverage by the next decade.
Below, you can read the responses from several healthcare organizations about the latest GOP healthcare bill:
In a press release, The American Nurses Association stated, “This bill goes against ANA’s core principles for health system transformation. It reduces access to a standard package of essential health care services for all citizens and residents; it reduces the ability of individuals to acquire primary, community-based preventive services and will drive up the cost of health care; it reduces the ability of individuals to utilize health care services in an economic way; and it says nothing of ensuring a sufficient supply of a skilled workforce necessary to providing quality health care services to all citizens and residents.”
The American Medical Association weighed in with a letter to Congress, saying, “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or “first, do no harm.” The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.”
American Hospital Association’s President and CEO Rick Pollack warned that, “history will remember how the Senate votes and whether it votes to protect coverage or leave the most vulnerable behind.”
The American Heart Association’s CEO Nancy Brown slammed the BCRA, saying, “Our analysis of the proposed GOP health care reform plan indicates that, relative to current law, it significantly diminishes the existing Medicaid program, reduces access to quality coverage, raises premiums for older and low-income individuals and limits benefits. Despite its name, this isn’t better care.”
National Nurses United called the bill “disgraceful” and cautioned lawmakers that should it pass, the BCRA “will be long remembered by voters.”
In a written statement, the Catholic Health Association urged U.S. lawmakers to scrap the BCRA bill and start again. “We can and must do better on behalf of all those who rely on our nation’s health care programs and providers. We recommend a new bipartisan focus to make improvements in our health care system that will stabilize the insurance market, improve affordability and strengthen and expand health coverage.”
What’s your take on the latest healthcare reform developments?