Medical Colleges: Reject Senate Health Care Bill

By Andrew Kreighbaum

The Association of American Medical Colleges called on senators to reject the health-care reform bill Republican lawmakers released Thursday. AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch said the bill would upend the health-care marketplace and cripple the Medicaid program.

The association said the legislation failed to meet the benchmarks it laid out for any replacement of the Affordable Care Act: that it maintain current levels of coverage, maintain Medicaid and be the result of a transparent process.

“We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today. Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare-bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs. As the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals see every day, people without sufficient coverage often delay getting the care they need. This can turn a manageable condition into a life-threatening and expensive emergency,” Kirch said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, said the Medicaid cuts in the Better Care Reconciliation Act would put pressure on state budgets and likely lead to cuts to education budgets.

“The proposed cuts to Medicaid would deeply impact state budgets, and state policy makers are very likely to respond by reducing funding for public colleges and universities,” Golden said. “This would deeply harm millions of students as they pursue a pathway toward economic mobility, and ultimately would be detrimental to our nation’s future.”

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