Doctors and patient groups slammed the Better Care Reconciliation Act released by Republican Senators on Thursday, taking issue in particular with Medicaid cuts in the bill.
The groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Hospital Association, are critical of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
The Senate’s plan, like one passed by the
House of Representatives rolls back many of the provisions of Obamacare, including taking deep cuts from the Medicaid program.
Here’s what the groups thought of the bill
The American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 66,000 pediatricians, opposed the BCRA, especially because it was left out of the conversation around its drafting.
“The bill that the Senate unveiled today was crafted without the benefit of groups like pediatricians weighing in with what children need,” Dr. Fernando Stein, president of the AAP, said in a statement. “The result is that the bill would tear down the progress we’ve made by achieving health insurance coverage for 95% of America’s children.”
The AAP was critical of the changes to Medicaid.
“The bill includes misleading ‘protections’ for children by proposing to exempt them from certain Medicaid cuts,” Stein said. “A ‘carve-out’ for children with ‘medically complex’ health issues does little to protect their coverage when the base program providing the coverage is stripped of its funding.”
The American Lung Association also opposed the bill, citing the Medicaid cuts.
“The proposed cuts to Medicaid under this bill will be devastating for children, seniors and people living with disabilities for whom healthcare is critical. Cuts to Medicaid will lead to more asthma attacks,” ALA President Harold Wimmer said in a statement Thursday.
Leading up to the bill’s release, the ALA didn’t get a chance to share their thoughts on the BCRA.
“You’re never going to get everything right,” Erika Sward, the assistant vice president of national advocacy at the ALA told Business Insider. But when you completely exclude patient organisations from the conversations, “you’re more likely to get it wrong,” she said.
The American Hospital Association, which represents thousands of hospitals and health systems, was unhappy with the cuts to the Medicaid program.
“Medicaid cuts of this magnitude are unsustainable and will increase costs to individuals with private insurance. We urge the Senate to go back to the drawing board and develop legislation that continues to provide coverage to all Americans who currently have it,” AHA President Richard Pollack said in a statement on Thursday.