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 and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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:

 



THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.