FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tim Foley, CIR/SEIU Healthcare
ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING 20,000 NY PHYSICIANS URGE NEW YORK’S REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REJECT MAJOR CUTS TO MEDICAID
The Physicians Warn That Changes to Medicaid in the American Health Care Act Would Cause Harm to Children, the Elderly, the Mentally Ill, the Disabled, and Those Recovering from Opioid Addiction
NEW YORK, NY – As the House of Representatives rushes to schedule a vote this week on the American Health Care Act, the long-promised but hastily-drafted replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, New York physicians are sounding the alarm about proposed cuts and structural changes to Medicaid in the bill that would dramatically harm their patients. They are calling upon the Republican members of the House of Representatives from New York State to reject any bill that would so undermine the guaranteed promise of Medicaid.
“The substantial cuts to Medicaid proposed in the American Health Care Act would cruelly target the most vulnerable people in our society, leaving children, the elderly, the mentally ill, the disabled, and the poor without health care coverage and vital services,” the physician organizations write in their letter to the delegation. “It is disturbing that we would consider restricting coverage for addiction treatment just as the country and the state are trying to recover from an opioid addiction epidemic. Some of your districts have among the highest overdose death rates in New York.”
The organizations, which includes local chapters of national medical societies, organizations dedicated to physician advocacy on healthcare issues, labor unions representing physicians, medical student groups, and others, have been collaborating together under the banner of @NYDocs and have been critical of the rush to repeal the protections of the Affordable Care Act in a way that would leave many of their patients behind. The non-partisan, independent Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million Americans could ultimately lose their coverage if the American Health Care Act became law. They estimated the bill would also translate to an $880 billion cut in the federal share of Medicaid.
The letter concludes, “As physicians, we took an oath to put the health of our patients first. Trust that we will remain vigilant in our monitoring of healthcare policy, and will continue to speak out to protect our patients and communities. Remember that doctors feel a strong sense of moral obligation to those we serve, and as a result have earned the respect and attention of the public. We therefore request that you vote against any plan that includes these structural changes to Medicaid, which would threaten the lives of our patients, and severely damage our communities and the state of New York.”