AHCA: Physician Groups Oppose AHCA
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 01:00 PM
Six political physician groups have sent a letter to Congress critical of the AHCA proposal passed in the House of Representatives.

A coalition of six physicians’ groups sent a letter to Congress critical of the latest version of the American Health Care Act.  Under current law, all health insurance policies must contain 10 essential benefits, and there can be no annual or lifetime cap on claims in those categories. The coalition, which includes the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, warned that eliminating those protections could prevent some individuals from receiving care and spark discriminatory coverage.

Although the draft language says the bill does not allow for discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, if insurers were allowed to charge more for policies that include chemotherapy infusion drugs, or inpatient behavioral health treatment, that could price people out of the market who need those services.  The bill would let each state decide how to regulate health insurance, as long as they could justify the departure from current patient protections.

The groups, which represent more than 560,000 doctors, said if this bill became law, insurers could decline to pay for substance abuse treatment for millions.  The letter said the high-risk pools proposal—which some states might implement in the hopes of lowering prices for healthy customers—would be underfunded. This solution to the problems of the individual health insurance market has “been proven ineffective numerous times,” the physicians claim.

The proposed changes to plans could begin in January 2020. However, changes to prices charged to older customers in the individual market could take effect in January 2018.

The signatories included the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Source: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170426/NEWS/170429896