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NPA Speaks Out on Senate Vote on Motion to Proceed with ACA Repeal

Posted by Becky Martin, NPA Advocacy Director July 25, 2017 at 10:55 PM

The National Physicians Alliance continues to oppose efforts by Republicans in the Senate to take away healthcare from millions of our patients and ask millions more to pay more for less. Through a rushed and secretive process, the Senate has taken a dangerous step forward in wreaking havoc on our patients lives and the healthcare system as a whole.

As providers who see patients every day on the front lines of healthcare, we know families and communities will be devastated if any of the ill-conceived and fundamentally flawed bills in consideration are passed. Though they may have different names and acronyms, they all will result in millions of America losing health coverage, skyrocketing heathcare costs and decreased consumer protections for our patients.

We strongly urge the Senate to scrap this process and pursue a thorough, bipartisan and open effort to improve upon the gains we have made in healthcare, sure-up insurance markets and take steps forward, not backwards, in truly achieving high quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

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We encourage you share this statement with colleagues, and contact your own Senators to express your concernsFind your senators’ contact info. Find more info on this issue and resources for physician advocates.

Statement attributable to:  Manan Trivedi, MD, MPP, President, National Physicians Alliance

For more information contact:
Becky Martin, NPA Advocacy Director
becky@npalliance.org
Cell: 941/518-7051

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Quotes below from NPA physicians around the country available for publication. To arrange interviews please contact Becky Martin, NPA Advocacy Director, becky@npalliance org or 941/518-7051

Devery Mitchell, MD – Family Medicine – Anchorage, Alaska
“As a family physician in Anchorage, I care for generations of vulnerable individuals–grandparents needing elder care, parents worrying about being able to afford insurance premiums, and children who receive vital services so they can grow and thrive. The threat posed to my patients by the Senate’s reckless and partisan attempt to repeal the ACA–possibly without even enacting a sensible replacement–is staggering. This is not a game. People’s lives are being thrown around like political poker chips and the stakes are way too high. I am terrified of what this will mean for my patients.”

Paul Robinson, MD, PhD – Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine – Tarpon Springs, Florida
”The worst case of infected hands I have seen belonged to a man who prepared food at a restaurant near my trauma center. He had numerous cuts on his hands which had become purulent as he attempted treatment with ointments. This occurred before passage of the Affordable Care Act.  He had no health insurance and felt he could not afford to seek care from a clinic or emergency department. His employer finally sent him to us; we were able to cure the infections and he was able to return to his job.  A disproportionate number of food service workers, in the US, obtained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Their health can affect the rest of the population.   Think about that the next time you eat in your favorite restaurant.”

Trudy Singzon, MD – Familiy Physician – San Francisco, CA
“As a family physician who was in practice before the Affordable Care Act was in place and then after, I can say with 100% certainty that repealing the ACA will cause unnecessary sickness, suffering, and death. That is not hyperbole; that is fact. I’ve seen people die due to lack of health care coverage and this reality simply should not exist in this great country of ours. The ACA wasn’t perfect but it gave coverage and thus care to millions and thus prevented illness and saved lives.”

Stephen R. Smith, MD, MPH – Family Physician – New London, CT
Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
“Every day in my clinic I see the benefits my patients enjoy by having health insurance. Many will become uninsured if the Republican plans become law. Some will die as a result. American is better than this. We must not turn the clock back.”

James Rickert, MD – Orthopedic Surgery – Bloomington, IN
“The Senate repeal bill tells my patients, and, indeed, all Americans with pre-existing conditions like heart disease or cancer that our nation has no place for them and will offer them no aid or comfort.  For that reason alone, we must vigorously oppose it.”

Mark Lupinetti, Cardiac Surgeon, Bangor, ME
“If the Congress strips coverage from 30 million people or 20 million or even 15 million, it will mean that my patients will have worse outcomes, their care will cost more, and more of them will die.”

Bethany Picker, MD – Family Medicine – Lewiston, ME
“As a family doctor in Maine, I care for the working poor and those on the margins of society:  refugees, the disabled, the addicted. Repealing the ACA will take people already working so hard and make them feel tossed aside by those with power — no care, no help, no hope.”

Susan Molchan, MD – Psychiatrist and Nuclear Medicine Physician – Bethesda, MD
“The more people that put off going to the doctor because they can’t afford it, the more will end up in emergency rooms and with chronic diseases that will cost much more in the long run.”

Anthony Accurso, MD – Primary Care and Addiction Medicine – Brooklyn, NY
“As a primary care doctor who treats patients with opioid use disorder, I have seen the life-saving effects of drug treatment.  The ACA is the mechanism through which many patients in my practice have been able to be seen in clinic and obtain buprenorphine, thereby restoring stability to their lives.  Taking away the insurance that allows them to continue treatment would be a cruel and dangerous occurrence.  We Americans can do better than that for each other

William B. Jordan, MD, MPH, – Family & Preventive Medicine – New York, NY
“As a doctor, I have seen how Medicaid saves lives. For patients, it means a healthy baby at the end of a pregnancy. It means not having to choose between groceries and diabetes pills. For my family, it meant my grandmother cared for in a nursing home when she lost her memory and my grandfather. We cannot go back to the bad old days when families and lives were torn apart by the struggle to get care.”

Cameron Page, MD – Internal Medicine – Rural NY & NYC
“As a doctor who works at hospitals in both rural and urban areas, I’ve seen the many ways that this legislation would hurt patients.  From home care for disabled kids, to nursing home care for seniors, to treatment programs for opiate addiction, the Senate bill would make the lives of many Americans far worse.  Some may claim it is overly dramatic to say this bill will kill people, but I’ve looked into the faces of these patients, and I can testify that it is true.”

Gregory Lam, MD – Cardiologist, Circleville, OH
“Far from being a nightmare, the ACA has been a lifeline for many of my patients in rural Ohio. Repealing it would hurt the sick, the elderly and the poor, and would dramatically weaken our communities across America. Rather than repealing it, Democrats and Republicans should work together to improve our system of care and improve the health of our country.”

Cheryl Bettigole, MD – Family Physician – Philadelphia, PA
I feel sick at the thought of the cliff the Senate vote is moving us toward. Like many physicians who have worked in the country’s safety net, I remember too well the faces and voices of my patients who faced life threatening diagnoses and life altering in the days before the ACA. We cannot go back.

Manik Chhabra, MD – Internal Medicine – Philadelphia, PA
As a primary care physician, Medicaid expansion through the ACA has provided a lifeline to my most vulnerable patients. Many of the patients I serve are undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder, and are dependent on the insurance coverage they have to continue to receive services. Any effort to make insurance coverage less available, any cuts to Medicaid, will keep hundreds of thousands of American from receiving lifesaving treatment for substance use disorder. This means more needless emergency room visits, more hospitalizations, more babies born addicted to the opiates their mothers used during pregnancy. I urge you to vote against any legislation that would endanger my patients.

Reena Koshy MD MPH – Family Physician – Seattle WA
“Today in the Senate we saw desperate individuals- pressured by bullies and afraid of losing power- willing to bargain away health care for millions of Americans. Health care is a big problem and needs many different solutions. It was not a problem that Obama created, it is not a problem that one party can fix, we all own it. We all have to fix it. Healthcare has to work for both rural and urban, young and old, rich and poor populations.  This is going to be a disaster if the Senate continues this course.”

Jeff Huebner, MD – Family Physician – Madison, WI
As a family physician in practice for 12 years, I take care of patients of all ages, from all insurance backgrounds, and I have seen the positive impact that the Affordable Care Act has had on the community where I work. Before the ACA, I regularly had patients who had to delay or avoid care that they could not afford, and of course, many others simply never came or had a doctor. Still others could not afford their medicines for diabetes or asthma. I’ll always remember my uninsured patient who came to see me too late for us to help stabilize his congestive heart disease. We all need the security that health insurance provides, so that we have the opportunity to play, learn, work, and care for our families. I will continue to fight with my physician and health professional colleagues and stand up for our patients, so that everyone in America has access to health care. Jeff Huebner, MD, Family Physician, Madison, WI, Board Chair, National Physicians Alliance

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