May 4, 2017 - Today, Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) President Kevin Taubman, MD, expressed concern that H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House, could cause serious harm to Oklahoma patients and the healthcare delivery system. He said many physicians worry that millions of Americans could lose their health coverage as a result of this proposal.
“Many Oklahomans risk loss of access to quality, affordable health coverage. Those with pre-existing health conditions could be charged premiums that make access to coverage out of the question for them,” said Taubman. He noted that action is also needed to improve the current healthcare insurance system. “OSMA urges the Oklahoma Congressional delegation to work with state physicians, patients, hospitals and other care providers to craft solutions. All Oklahomans deserve access to affordable and effective coverage, including a safety net for vulnerable patient populations.”
He also said OSMA adopted a statement of principles at its recent annual meeting urging Congress to meet the following goals:
- Allow patients a broad choice of physicians, plans and coverage through Health Savings Accounts, private insurers, government programs, and Medicare private contracting, enhance programs to ensure insurance portability;
- Stabilize and strengthen individual insurance market;
- Provide access to affordable prescription drugs;
- Ensure that Medicaid, CHIP and other safety net programs are maintained and adequately funded;
- Reduce regulatory burdens that detract from patient care and increase cost,
- Provide greater transparency throughout the healthcare system,
- Incorporate common sense liability reforms;
- Continue the advancement of delivery reforms in new physician-led payment models to achieve better outcomes, higher quality and lower spending trends, such as Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative; and
- Repeal of the independent payment advisory board.
As attention now turns to healthcare reform efforts in the Senate, Taubman said the 4,000 physicians and medical students represented by the OSMA statewide, urge Senators to support affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans.