AOA President Boyd R. Buser, DO, expressed concern about the legislation in a statement released today.
CHICAGO—March 8, 2017—The American Osteopathic Association today released a statement from its president, Boyd R. Buser, DO, on the recently introduced health care reform legislation.
“The AOA is disappointed that leadership in the House of Representatives has moved forward with today’s mark-up of the proposed American Health Care Act without input from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
It is clear that the legislation, released only just Monday evening, would result in significant changes to our health care system—but it is impossible to accurately assess its impact on patients and our nation without CBO scoring.
Representing 129,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students, the AOA is pleased that many consumer protections were preserved and that the bill increases funding for community health centers, which provide primary care and other services to vulnerable communities. But a number of other provisions in the bill do not align with our priorities for health care reform released in January.
We are particularly concerned that many Americans may be unable to afford coverage if certain provisions stand. The most worrisome aspects are changing tax credits for coverage to be based largely on age rather than income, the high financial penalties for those who cannot maintain continuous coverage, removal of age rating restrictions and removal of minimum actuarial value requirements. The proposed changes to Medicaid, including the expansion rollback that would begin in 2020, would put millions of patients’ coverage in jeopardy.
More fundamentally, AOA does not see any aspect of the legislation focused on bending the cost curve. Rising health care costs are a more immediate basis for current difficulties in ensuring access to affordable, high quality care to all Americans, and any legislation that reforms our health care system must address them.”
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Visit DoctorsThatDO.org to learn more about osteopathic medicine.