AMA Physicians Reject House ACA Replacement Bill

Andrew W. Gurman, MD Andrew W. Gurman, MD
American Medical Association

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), released by Congress this week, is intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But as introduced, it does not align with the health reform objectives that the AMA set forth in January to protect patients. While the ACA is imperfect, the current version of the AHCA is not legislation we can support.

The replacement bill, as written, would reverse the coverage gains achieved under the ACA, causing many Americans to lose the health care coverage they have come to depend upon.

In a letter sent today to leaders of the House committees that will mark up the AHCA, AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, wrote that the proposed changes to Medicaid would limit states’ ability to respond to changes in service demands and threaten coverage for people with low incomes. Dr. Madara also noted that the proposed changes in tax credits and subsidies to help patients purchase private health insurance coverage are expected to result in fewer Americans with insurance coverage.

It is unclear the exact impact this bill will have on the number of insured Americans, and review by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is still pending. The ratings and analytics firm S&P Global Ratings has already estimated that as many as 10 million Americans could lose coverage if this bill becomes law, saying that between 2 million and 4 million people could lose the insurance they purchased in the individual health exchanges under the ACA, and between 4 million and 6 million could lose their coverage under Medicaid.

That just won’t do.

We all know that our health system is highly complex, but our core commitment to the patients most in need should be straightforward. As the AMA has previously stated, members of Congress must keep top of mind the potentially life-altering impact their policy decisions will have.

We physicians often see patients at their most vulnerable, from the first time they set eyes on a newborn child to the last time they squeeze a dying loved one’s hand. We don’t want to see any of our patients, now insured, exposed to the financial and medical uncertainties that would come with losing that coverage.

That is, above all, why physicians must be involved in this debate.

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks, a series of AMA Wire® articles will explore policies that form the basis of the AMA’s advocacy on health reform. Read parts one (“Protecting insurance gains is priority No. 1”) and two (“No going back on key market protections”).

Reprinted with permission and as Published by the American Medical Association on AMA Wire at:

Letter re: the AHCA being driven through the US House

NRA Begrudgingly Turns to McCarthyism


NRA Publishes Enemies List With 506 Names

— By Ian Millhiser on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Late last year, the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm published a Nixonian enemies listnaming organizations and individuals that “lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations” or have otherwise backed efforts to promote gun safety. The list totals 506 names, including major medical associations, law enforcement organizations, former presidents and a long list of celebrities. Here are five examples of the kinds of groups the NRA views as its enemies:

Doctors & Nurses

As it turns out, the sort of people tasked with saving the lives of victims of gun violence would rather that America’s trauma centers were not quite so busy. A short list of medical and nursing organizations on the NRA’s enemies list includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American Nurses Association, in addition to Ronald Reagan’s Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.


It turns out that sort of people who devote their lives to preparing our children for adulthood don’t much like to learn that a young life has been cut short by gun violence either. The NRA’s enemies list includes the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Education Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Law Enforcement

It also turns out that people who put risk their lives to keep our streets and schools safe don’t much like being in the line of fire. The National Association of Police Organizations, the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers, and the Police Foundation are all on the NRA’s enemies list.

People of Faith

The NRA may not want Americans to “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks,” but many people of faith take the Bible’s command seriously enough to earn a place on the gun lobby’s list of enemies. They include the American Jewish Committee, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Congress of National Black Churches, the Episcopal Church’s Washington Office, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, the United States Catholic Conference, the United Methodist Church General Board & Church Society, and the United Church of Christ Office for Church in Society.

Boy Bands, Dweezil Zappa and MacGyver

Above anything, the NRA’s enemies list reveals its capacity to hold a grudge. It includes a long, long list of celebrities, many of which are far from Hollywood’s elite circles. It is not clear why the nation’s top gun organization feels so threatened by Art Garfunkel, for example. Or why Washington’s most heavily armed lobbyists fear a ragtag list of former talk show hosts, washed up actors and what appears to be the entirety of Frank Zappa’s progeny. Gun owners beware! Both Boys II Men and N Sync are coming for your guns, and the NRA is very, very afraid.

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.