They join Doctors, Cancer Society, Consumers Union, Catholic Health Association, March of Dimes and others

(KNOXVILLE,TN) Today the AARP, American Medical Association, doctors, hospitals and patient advocacy groups have all voiced their condemnation and opposition to the current GOP proposal dubbed the American Health Care Act.

The AARP, issued their second letter to Congress, urging all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “No.” on the proposed bill due to the harmful impacts it has on Americans 50 years and older will face.

The American Medical Association the nation’s premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students also sent a letter urging a no vote because of changes that would result in millions of Americans losing their health care coverage and could make coverage unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions.

These two groups joined a chorus of opposition to the debate on Capitol HIll on a bill that will drastically affect the health and well being of thousands of Tennesseans.

Catholic Health Association: “This Is Not In Any Way A Health Care Bill” And “Is Contrary To The Spirit Of Who We Are As A Nation, A Giant Step Backward That Should Be Resisted.” “It is critically important to look at this bill for what it is. It is not in any way a health care bill.  Rather, it is legislation whose aim is to take significant funding allocated by Congress for health care for very low income people and use that money for tax cuts for some of our wealthiest citizens. ” [Catholic Health Association, 4/27/17]

Cancer Action Network, American Cancer Society: “The Proposal Could Lead To Bare Bones Coverage Plans That Push Significant Costs Onto Patients Who Access Care.” “The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is deeply concerned about a proposed amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that would create an option for states to obtain waivers from the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) and the community rating rules.  These two rules work together to guarantee access to comprehensive and affordable insurance that covers cancer prevention and treatment for patients and survivors with pre-existing conditions. [Cancer Action Network-American Cancer Society Press Release/Letter, 4/20/17]

Consumers Union: “AHCA Authors Find A Way To Make A Bad Bill Even Worse For Consumers.” “The latest version of the American Health Care Act does even greater damage to consumers than the original bill and would ultimately cost consumers more for less coverage, without doing anything to increase the number of people with meaningful coverage. Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, panned the amended bill, noting that it would allow states to charge older consumers far more, effectively end protections for those with preexisting conditions, and gut essential health benefits so that insurers could sell plans offering  paltry coverage.” [Consumers Union, 4/26/17

American Medical Association: MacArthur Protections On Preexisting Conditions “Illusory.” “The current ban on underwriting protects individuals from being discriminated against by virtue of their medical conditions. Prior to the passage of the ACA, such individuals were routinely denied coverage and/or priced out of affordable coverage. We are particularly concerned about allowing states to waive this requirement because it will likely lead to patients losing their coverage. ” [American Medical Association, 4/27/17]

AARP: “The AHCA Was Bad In March. It’s Worse Now.” We urge Congress to remain opposed…and remember 38 million AARP members are watching.” [Tweet, 4/26/17]

American Medical Association: “Nothing In The MacArthur Amendment Remedies The Shortcomings Of The Underlying Bill.” The amendment does not offer a clear long-term framework for stabilizing and strengthening the individual health insurance market to ensure that low and moderate income patients are able to secure affordable and adequate coverage, nor does it ensure that Medicaid and other critical safety net programs are maintained and adequately funded.” [American Medical Association, 4/27/17]

American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association: “Our organizations, which represent over 560,000 physicians and medical students, remain concerned with ongoing efforts that in our view could destabilize our nation’s health care system. We believe that pending legislation proposals would dramatically increase costs for older individuals, result in millions of people losing their health care coverage, and return to a system that allows for discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.” [Joint Letter, 4/26/17]

America’s Essential Hospitals: Latest Version Of AHCA Is “Simply Bad Policy.” “The amendment now being considered would threaten basic health care benefits and important consumer protections. Worse, these changes are expected to add to the already staggering total of 24 million additional uninsured people under the AHCA. The legislation also would leave unchanged more than $800 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade, breaking the nation’s safety net and saddling states, local governments, and taxpayers with new costs for indigent care.” [America’s Essential Hospitals, 4/26/17]

March Of Dimes: “The MacArthur Amendment…Will Deny Millions Of Pregnant Women, Babies And Their Families The Affordable Coverage And Quality Services They Need.” “Women and children need quality, affordable insurance coverage to be born healthy and lead healthy, productive lives.” [March of Dimes, 4/27/17]

March Of Dimes: “It’s Easy To Offer Inexpensive Health Coverage If It Doesn’t Cover The Benefits People Need.” The MacArthur amendment will offer states and health plans numerous opportunities to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher rates, design plans that explicitly exclude the services they are most likely to need, and erect barriers to care. For pregnant women, this likely means fewer plans that cover maternity and newborn care, and much higher rates for those that do.” [March of Dimes, 4/27/17]

March Of Dimes: “The ACHA’s Proposal To Repeal Medicaid Expansion Would Leave Millions Of Low-Income Women Of Childbearing Age Without Access To Care.” Medicaid coverage offers these women a critical opportunity to get healthy before they get pregnant. Even if they qualify after becoming pregnant, women may receive inadequate services because states will no longer be required to cover maternity and newborn care. Women, infants, and communities will bear the long-term cost if prenatal care is shortchanged and more babies are born sick as a result.” [March of Dimes, 4/27/17]