In a letter addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other congressional leaders, medical groups representing approximately 400,000 doctors across the country warned against the repeal of the ACA.  The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians, in their letter warned against repeal saying:

“We are concerned [repeal] would have a profoundly negative impact on our health care system and the more than 200 million people who currently have health care coverage through the individual, small group, and employer-based markets, as well as Medicaid.  Over the past two decades we have made tremendous progress towards extending health care coverage to the uninsured and children.” 

Specifically, the letter urged Congress in any reforms to not increase the number of uninsured, ensure a viable health care safety net, and to ensure vital patient protections in the health insurance marketplace.  In discussing an area that will have an impact on child welfare populations the four groups said:

“There should be a viable and equitable safety-net health care program for low-income children, youth and adults including those enrolled in Medicaid.  We urge you to ensure that the basic functions of the safety-net are universal, meaning low income individuals are guaranteed health care coverage that is equitable to such coverage in any other state.  We support continuation of incentives for additional states to expand Medicaid and those that have expanded to keep it. Proposals to promote state innovation should be considered provided that they do not weaken this safety-net.”

While that group of doctors weighed-in, the American Medical Association sent a letter asking the congressional leadership to outline how they will change the ACA before taking action. In the letter sent to leadership the head of the AMA said:

“…we believe that before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies.”

Although they had signed onto the larger letter on January 2, the American College of Physicians sent additional comments through a letter on January 3, with this one directed to the Senate Leaders including the two heads of the Budget Committee.  That letter urged a no vote on the budget resolution stating:

“While we acknowledge that the ACA is not perfect (and no law is) and improvements to it can and should be made, our continued support for the ACA is grounded in the fact that it has reduced the uninsured rate to the lowest ever, a major stride toward providing affordable coverage to all Americans.”

The doctors urged a no vote on a resolution that repeals the ACA and they offered to work together on additional market reforms and other efforts such as strategies to bring more young people into coverage.