Letter from the American Medical Association
Sent June 26, 2017
To: Senators McConnell and Schumer
On behalf of the physician and medical student members of the American Medical Association
(AMA), I am writing to express our opposition to the discussion draft of the “Better Care
Reconciliation Act” released on June 22, 2017. Medicine has long operated under the precept of
Primum non nocere, or “first, do no harm.” The draft legislation violates that standard on many
In our January 3, 2017 letter to you, and in subsequent communications, we have consistently
urged that the Senate, in developing proposals to replace portions of the current law, pay special
attention to ensure that individuals currently covered do not lose access to affordable, quality
health insurance coverage. In addition, we have advocated for the sufficient funding of Medicaid
and other safety net programs and urged steps to promote stability in the individual market.
Though we await additional analysis of the proposal, it seems highly likely that a combination of
smaller subsidies resulting from lower benchmarks and the increased likelihood of waivers of
important protections such as required benefits, actuarial value standards, and out of pocket
spending limits will expose low and middle income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty
in affording care.
The AMA is particularly concerned with proposals to convert the Medicaid program into a
system that limits the federal obligation to care for needy patients to a predetermined formula
based on per-capita-caps.
The entire letter is here.