Editor's note: We work hard to write about issues that will help physicians run their practices in a manner that is both prosperous and efficient, while still delivering quality patient care. And we are delighted when our readers let us know what they are thinking. This month, we excerpt from our Editor's Corner blog, where the managing editor of Physician Practice shared his thoughts on a statement made by the AMA. We also excerpted an article that gave readers an update on the Senate's version of the AHCA. The articles have been edited for space and are followed by comments made by readers at PhysiciansPractice.com. Comments have been edited for style and grammar.
The Republican Senate's draft of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was revealed to the public this week after it was negotiated in secret. There are a number of provisions very similar to the AHCA bill that passed the House by a vote of 217 to 213, with some alterations included.
Like the House bill, the bill eliminates the ACA's individual mandate to purchase healthcare insurance and the employer mandate that requires large employers to offer insurance. Both bills remove cost-sharing subsidies that help insurers pay for low-income customers and enact a one-year funding freeze of Planned Parenthood. They also both end the Medicaid expansion and cut funding to the program.
Janice says: We need to see more physicians and medical people in the news helping to explain to the public what this all means. This will definitely hurt our children and families who are going through hard times. Shame on the White House for allowing and backing such a catastrophe for the American people.
Maria replies: We need to understand that we are responsible for our health, the government should regulate insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, as they are the real culprits making healthcare very expensive. But each one of us are responsible for our own health.
Kathleen replies: Couldn't agree more. Smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and obesity (with its co-morbidities) are some of the leading causes of disease in this country. Each comes with inherent struggles, but the first step to health is to choose to live well. Those who have no choice (children, mentally ill, elderly) deserve to be cared for appropriately.
Tim says: NO subsidies for insurance companies at all! All legislators have to participate in the program-no exclusions for the swamp rats! Where is money for preventative care? Subsidize the training of primary-care physicians [who can] make a real impact on American healthcare. Don't subsidize insurance companies and reduce competition in the process. Keep Medicaid intact!! Fund community health centers through the [Federally Qualified Health Center] program or otherwise, [Planned Parenthood] can fend for itself.
Regan says: [The Congressmen] should all be fired! Or at least they should be forced to accept the insurance that the poorest American is forced to take...maybe if it affects them they will try to represent every American and not elitists like themselves.
Scott says: Forget what the American Hospital Association says. I don't care at all what they say, [same goes for] the American Psychiatrists Association and all the rest. I'm sure the American Medical Association is in there as well. They don't have a flippin' clue about the real world...Hold strong Congress! Most of us support you!