Dear ASA Members,
This afternoon, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass an amended H.R. 1620, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which proposes to significantly alter the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 217 to 213 vote was largely along party lines, with twenty Republicans voting “no”. This action represents one step in a multiple step process.
The bill will now be forwarded to the United States Senate, where it is expected to be substantially changed.
Given the certain likelihood of significant Senate changes, and the adoption of substantive amendments to the original House legislation, none of which were fully analyzed by the committees of jurisdiction, nor the Congressional Budget Office, ASA chose to take no formal position on the AHCA or its amendments. During the recent discussions about the proposed legislation, ASA leaders and the ASA lobbying team have continued to engage Administration and Congressional stakeholders, including Congressional leadership, in constructive discussions about some of our concerns regarding key elements of ASA’s Health Reform Principles, in particular the preservation of current insurance coverage.
In the coming days, ASA will convene a call with ASA members to discuss next steps in the process. In addition, the ASA and the Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by Neal Cohen, M.D., will continue to monitor deliberations on the AHCA, and will engage in further dialogue with policymakers and others on behalf of our patients and profession.
We will continue to update members on key developments in this important debate. We encourage ASA members to share their views, questions and concerns at: [email protected]. Additional information about health care reform is available here.
Jeffrey Plagenhoef, M.D.
Neal Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Chair, ASA Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Reform
Manuel Bonilla, M.S.
ASA Chief Advocacy Officer