CHICAGO-March 13, 2017—American Osteopathic Association President Boyd R. Buser, DO, released the following statement today in response to the Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act.
"The Congressional Budget Office scoring confirms that the American Health Care Act neither increases access to care nor addresses the foundational issues plaguing our health care system. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) has long supported federal and state efforts to increase access to affordable health care and cannot support this legislation. It’s critical to recognize that the difficulty in ensuring coverage and access to affordable health care is a symptom of perpetually rising costs.
In order to drive down costs, Congress should prioritize prevention and care coordination, two measures proven to reduce overall costs by addressing health problems at the most readily treatable stage and eliminating waste. Decreasing the number of Americans with coverage will not achieve that goal. According to the CBO, 14 million fewer Americans will be covered by 2018 with that number jumping to 24 million by 2026.
Whatever the mechanism of coverage, global costs will be largely unchanged unless these and other aspects of the health care system are addressed.
We call on Congress to take a broader approach to reform, which would include support for new care delivery models that build on current successes such as the patient-centered medical home. These new models should prioritize primary care and emphasize care coordination, moving the nation to a value-based health care system that raises quality and lowers costs.
The AOA urges Congress to halt any further progression of the American Health Care Act as written and take a more comprehensive approach that addresses such systemic issues while providing stability for the insurance marketplace and the millions of Americans who rely on it for coverage."
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.