AAMC President and CEO Darrel G. Kirch, MD, Dec. 9 sent letters to President-elect Trump and Congressional leaders urging them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without simultaneously enacting legislation that maintains current coverage levels.
In an accompanying press statement, Dr. Kirch urged, “Repealing the ACA without a replacement, even if the implementation of such a repeal were delayed, would be very disruptive. For example, recently insured patients with complex conditions require stability and continuity in their care. If the exchange marketplace is disrupted, their inability to afford other coverage could cause them to forego or delay necessary medical care. In addition, delayed alternative coverage and stability could harm teaching hospitals’ ability to provide complex, coordinated care to the nation’s most vulnerable patients.”
The letters suggest an approach that includes the following elements:
Commit to comprehensive reform that guarantees similar or better coverage for those who lose it;
Protect states, taxpayers, and Medicaid beneficiaries by not repealing the Medicaid expansion, which would leave states with fewer resources and threaten not only patients but also the safety net providers who care for them; and
Work with health care stakeholders to help develop any reform package to set the tone for collaborative policymaking discussions, and quell the uncertainty currently roiling the health care industry.
Dr. Kirch additionally affirmed the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals’ commitment to improving the nation’s health care and leading the transformation of health care delivery through innovations in medical education, patient care, and research,” adding that the “AAMC looks forward to working with Congress and the incoming administration to ensure that high-quality, high-value, patient-centered care remains available to all.”