(Bloomberg) — The Republican plan to overhaul Affordable Care Act health coverage programs has a health problem.
On Wednesday, the U.S.’s biggest advocacy group for doctors came out against House Republicans’ legislation, adding to growing opposition from the country’s top trade groups for physicians and hospitals who worry that it will leave more people uninsured or with limited coverage.
In a letter to Congress, the American Medical Association said Wednesday it “cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written,” referring to the American Health Care Act, as the Republican proposal to change major components of the ACA is named. The association calls itself the largest physician advocacy group in the country, and backed the nomination of Tom Price as President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary and point person on the ACA.
The association’s letter adds to growing objections to the bill, which would overhaul the current, income-based health premium tax credit subsidy and replace it with an age-based tax credit. In the last several days, other major physician groups, including the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association, have said they have serious issues with or outright oppose the plan. Together they represent hundreds of thousands of U.S. doctors and health professionals.
Other industry trade groups have stayed largely neutral, including drugmakers and biotechnology companies. The health insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has yet to take a position on either side, though the group’s Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Tavenner said that “it’s important to us to keep as many members covered as possible.”
Tavenner spoke at the group’s annual policy conference in Washington on Wednesday.
Tavenner was the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services before she joined AHIP. At CMS, she helped run the major ACA coverage expansion programs.
Two hospital trade groups have problems with the current AHCA draft. (Photo: iStock)
The biggest hospital groups, the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, have also said they have serious concerns with the proposal