The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) opposes the May 4th passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the United States House of Representatives. The Society’s position is based on the belief that affordable, high-quality health care should be available to all Vermonters and all Americans.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which AHCA is meant to replace, has played a major role in lowering the number of our nation’s uninsured to historic levels. Instead of improving upon the progress made by the ACA, the Society believes AHCA will severely reverse those gains, as evidenced by a March 2017 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that found that up to 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance under this plan. While a revised version of AHCA was passed yesterday before the CBO could issue a new forecast on the cost to taxpayers, or the number of people who will lose their insurance, reports indicate that the impact will be significant if the legislation is enacted and signed into law.
“Protecting society’s most vulnerable – our youngest and oldest citizens, the sick and those with lower incomes – should be the first test of any health care reform legislation,” said Wendy Davis, M.D., president of the Vermont Medical Society. “Clearly AHCA fails in this regard and in fact would cause considerable harm to the very people who need access to affordable care the most.”
The members of VMS have dedicated their careers to addressing the health care needs of Vermonters and improving their access to high-quality care. The Vermont Medical Society cannot therefore support AHCA as passed by the U.S. House. The Society calls upon the members of the United States Senate to help ensure the continued rights of all Vermonters and all Americans under the ACA to access affordable and high-quality care by either defeating or drastically altering AHCA.