STATEMENT OF MSSNY PRESIDENT MALCOLM REID, MD, MPP,
IN RESPONSE TO AHCA LEGISLATION BEFORE CONGRESS
“For many years, New York’s physician community has advocated for needed fixes to the ACA to address its many flaws. The flaws include, but are not limited to, that the ACA has accelerated the trend of health insurance plans that greatly limit physician choice; and, has accelerated the trend of health insurance plans that impose enormous cost sharing responsibilities on our patients. This serves as a barrier to receiving needed care. It is imperative that Congress take action to fix these flaws.
The AHCA begins to address some of these problems by significantly expanding the amounts that patients could dedicate to their Health Savings Accounts, and by delaying for several years the tax on comprehensive health insurance coverage (the “Cadillac Tax”).
Moreover, the AHCA retains some positive provisions of the ACA, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits, and the requirement for insurers to offer coverage for dependent children up to age 26.
On the other hand, we have concerns with provisions that may cause New Yorkers who currently have low cost, “first dollar” coverage to instead purchase coverage with high deductibles and other high cost sharing responsibilities. Worse yet, they may not purchase any coverage at all. We also have concerns about the long-term impact of the AHCA on New York State's Budget finances.
We look forward to working with the members of New York’s Congressional delegation towards enactment of legislation which will provide affordable and comprehensive coverage options for our patients, which includes enacting the following key reforms set forth in policy adopted at the MSSNY House of Delegates calling for needed improvements to the ACA:
- repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB);
- expanding the use of health savings accounts as a means to provide health insurance; -enactment of comprehensive medical liability reform;
- enactment of long term Medicare physician payment reform including permitting patients to privately contract with physicians not participating in the Medicare program; and
- enactment of antitrust reform to permit independently practicing physicians to collectively negotiate with health insurance companies"