MMA: American Health Care Act is bad for patients

Published 10:01 am Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Minnesota Medical Association, which represents 10,000 physicians, residents, fellows and medical students in Minnesota, has long-supported insurance coverage for all as a core health care reform principle. On this alone, the MMA opposes the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The legislation represents a significant step backward as an estimated 14 million fewer Americans would have coverage in 2018, growing to 24 million without coverage by 2026.

The bill also fails to improve the affordability of care and coverage, another core MMA principle. It would replace current subsidies for buying insurance that are based on income with subsidies linked only to age. This will shift more dollars to older individuals, but it dramatically reduces financial support for those with the least ability to afford coverage. The proposal also threatens the viability of Medicaid, the health care safety net for low-income children, the disabled and elderly, by reducing federal financing and limiting future spending at levels below expected changes in health care costs. In Minnesota alone, the state stands to lose a total of $2 billion in just the initial 18 months of implementation.

The MMA encourages physicians and physicians-in-training to take this opportunity to fight for patients by contacting their elected officials and letting them know we can do better than this.

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Replacing the ACA with the AHCA is a bad deal for patients and a bad deal for Minnesota.

As state legislators and Congress work to reform health care, the MMA will continue to advocate for the following principles:

•Preserve patient-physician relationship

•Insurance coverage for all Minnesotans

•Ensure access to appropriate care for all Minnesotans

•Improve affordability of care

•Invest in public health and prevention

•Promote health equity

•Support innovation in care delivery and payment

•Advocate for broad-based, stable and adequate financing


Dan Hauser, APR, director of communications, education & events for the Minnesota Medical Association