AAN Issues Statement on AHCA
March 24, 2017
On March 24, 2017, the House of Representatives leadership avoided a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) after it became clear that the bill was not supported by a majority of the chamber. It is unclear whether House leadership will propose an alternative version of this legislation, but if they do, the AAN will continue to advocate for significant reforms to better align any proposal with the AAN's Principles for Health Care Delivery. This includes ensuring that Americans with neurologic conditions have access to the neurologists they need.
March 17, 2017
Dear Members of the AAN,
Last November, I wrote to you saying that the American Academy of Neurology would advocate for neurology and the patients we care for as changes to the Affordable Care Act were considered by Congress. Toward that end, the AAN adopted Principles for Health Care Delivery to guide us as new proposals were considered. Foremost in our principles is the need to preserve access to high-quality health care. After careful review of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), we have concluded this legislation does not do enough to ensure continued access to health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Further, this proposal does not weigh in on other priorities such as the value of cognitive care, medical liability reform, easing practice burdens, and securing access to care in all settings, although these provisions may be addressed in subsequent legislation.
While encouraged by the retention of provisions to protect those with pre-existing conditions, estimates of drastic reductions of individuals covered by health insurance conflict with the AAN's principles for health care delivery. As such, the AAN cannot support the American Health Care Act as currently written. We look forward to working with Congress to enact legislation to ensure that Americans with neurologic conditions have health insurance and increased access to the neurologists they need in addition to meeting the goals outlined in the AAN's principles.
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