American Medical Association CEO James Madara sent a letter to Senate leaders on Monday expressing his group’s opposition to the Republican health care bill. “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm,’” he wrote. “The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.” With more than 200,000 members, the AMA is a major lobbying group for physicians and medical students.
Madara warned that the likely combination of reduced subsidies and increased waivers of coverage protections “will expose low and middle income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care.” The AMA also opposes the Senate bill’s provisions to limit the growth of Medicaid—a concern shared by the AARP, which released a strong statement last Thursday pledging to “hold all 100 Senators accountable for their votes on this harmful health care bill.” Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said Trumpcare would impose an “age tax” and “allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable.” By cutting funding for Medicare and Medicaid, the legislation threatens to “strip health coverage from millions of low-income and vulnerable Americans who depend on the coverage, including 17 million poor seniors and children and adults with disabilities.”
If the GOP moves forward with this bill, it’ll be over the objection of a host of other health groups—including the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Cancer Association—who will be the first to remind their members that it was the Republicans who gutted their health care coverage or stripped them of it entirely.