A survey conducted last week by Merritt Hawkins found that 58% of physicians have a very negative impression of the American Health Care Act, the bill passed by the House of Representatives to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Merritt Hawkins didn’t ask physicians what they praised or panned about the AHCA. However, there wasn’t any doubt as to why organized medicine, and primary-care societies in particular, objected to the bill. Groups ranging from the American Medical Association to the American College of Cardiology said the AHCA would roll back gains in insurance coverage achieved under the ACA.
Among other things, the AHCA would replace the ACA’s income-based premium subsidies for health plans sold on insurance exchanges with premiums based on age, which generally translate into less help for the poor. In addition, the AHCA would cut off federal funding for expanded Medicaid eligibility in 31 states by 2020 and limit regular contributions to state programs — which are now open-ended — on a per-capita basis. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that such belt-tightening moves would reduce federal spending on Medicaid by $880 billion over 10 years. All in all, the number of uninsured Americans would be 24 million higher by 2026 under the AHCA than if the ACA remains in effect, according to the CBO.
Read more at www.medscape.com