Oklahoma Physician Leaders Respond to U.S. Senate Proposed 'Better Care Reconciliation Act'

June 22, 2017 – Today, Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) President Kevin Taubman, MD, expressed concern that the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”, proposed by the U.S. Senate, 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.

“Based on what we have seen to date, the two bills (both the U.S. House proposal and this one) are far short of our expectations for our patients. In no way does it fix an otherwise strained medical system,” Taubman said.

We are pleased to see that today’s proposal reinstates pre-existing health conditions coverage requirements that were included in the Affordable Care Act. Yet, many Oklahomans still risk loss of access to quality, affordable health coverage under it. 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.”

Taubman also noted that action is needed to improve the current healthcare insurance system.  He said OSMA stands by the statement of principles adopted 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.

Dr. 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.