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NPA Statement on Cassidy-Graham ACA Repeal Proposal

September 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Becky Martin, Advocacy Director
National Physicians Alliance
becky@npalliance.org
Cell: 941/518-7051

National Physicians Alliance Statement on Cassidy-Graham ACA Repeal Proposal

The latest revision of the attempt to strip away many of the healthcare consumer protections passed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is little changed in substance: it still allows insurers to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions and sell plans that are essentially junk coverage. Tens of millions of people will lose their health insurance coverage, millions more will pay more for less.

This bill still contains devastating cuts to Medicaid and significant tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations. Moreover, it does not even come close to adequately addressing the ever-growing opioid crisis that is ravaging thousands of communities across America. It cuts funds from public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, important for research and surveillance in keeping our population safe from future threats from diseases like Zika and the problem of antibiotic resistance.

As physicians who see patients every day, we understand what our patients go through firsthand and know that this legislation would devastate millions of people who rely on the access they gained through the Affordable Care Act including its expansion of Medicaid. We have a moral obligation to stand up for these patients and that is why we cannot support this bill.

We urge all Senators to vote NO on this legislation and get to the real work of improving upon the gains that were made under the ACA to achieve high quality, just and affordable healthcare for all.

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

Dr. Trivedi and other NPA physicians from states around the country are available for comment. Quotes are available below. For inquiries, contact Becky Martin becky@npalliance.org or 941/518-7501

The National Physicians Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that offers a professional home to physicians across medical specialties. We create research and education programs that promote health and foster active engagement of physicians with their communities. The NPA accepts no funding from pharmaceutical or medical device companies.
Learn more at NPAlliance.org

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

Trudy Singzon, MD – Family 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 care to millions, prevented illness, and thus 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 Graham-Cassidy becomes law. Some will die as a result. American is better than this. We must not turn the clock back.”

Jim Rickert, MD – Orthopedic Surgeon – Bloomington, IN
“The Graham-Cassidy Bill will strip needed health insurance from tens of millions of Americans while denying coverage to those among us with pre-existing conditions like heart disease or cancer. For these reasons, among others, we must forcefully oppose its passage.”

Mark Lupinetti, Cardiac Surgeon, Bangor, ME
“Graham-Cassidy will hurt my patients with lung cancer. It will hurt my patients with heart disease. It will hurt my patients on Medicare, it will hurt my patients covered by the exchanges, and it will hurt my patients insured at work. Will it not hurt ANY of my patients? Well, maybe I have a billionaire or two in my practice, whose medical costs will be offset by their tax reductions. Otherwise, no.”

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.”

Gregory Lam, MD – Cardiologist, Circleville, OH
“Let’s pursue an thoughtful, bipartisan approach to fixing healthcare. Although the ACA has its problems, it’s been a lifesaver for the poor and elderly patients I serve in rural Ohio. Dismantling it as the Graham-Cassidy bill proposes will take away healthcare from tens of millions of people. Instead, let’s work together to find sensible solutions that will help the sick, not hurt them.”

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 and life altering diagnoses in the days before the ACA. We cannot go back.”

Peter Capell, MD, Endocrinologist – Seattle, WA
“I do have some availability to meet with press. My statement: As a treating physician, countless of my patients celebrated meeting their qualification to enroll in Medicare. This is government run, thousands of miles from some enrollees home and operated with an efficiency and public benefit unmatched by any private insurer. If the private insurance industry refuses to help without demanding one’s fortune, then allow our established insurer to step forward.”

David Evans, MD – Family Physician – Seattle, WA
“Every day I see patients who benefit from the provisions in the ACA – Medicaid expansion, no pre-existing conditions and free preventive care save lives. Graham Cassidy will result in 800,000 Washingtonians, from all corners of the state, going uninsured. We need to move forward on healthcare, not backwards.”

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