An Important Message from Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, About Legislation to Replace the Affordable Care Act
The following message was sent from Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, to the faculty and staff of Temple Health:
As many of you may know, the U.S. Senate is considering legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and replace it with something that would have major impacts on patients and health systems throughout the country, including Temple Health. A vote on this Senate bill may occur as soon as before the July 4th recess, making this a critical time to make our voice heard.
This bill is similar to one passed last month by the House of Representatives – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – which, according to estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would leave 23 million more individuals without vital health coverage over the next 10 years and eliminate essential protections for older and sicker patients—including those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and the chronic illness. On top of that, it would cut $834 billion from the Medicaid program from the already underfunded Medicaid program, which offers a critical lifeline to our most vulnerable citizens and is a major payer of services that Temple provides.
Major healthcare organizations across the country are rallying against this bill, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Medical Association, and American Hospital Association (AHA). As a member of the AHA’s Board Committee on Healthcare Strategy and Innovation, I have heard first-hand how harmful the impacts would be if this bill were to pass.
That is why I ask you to join me in urging the Senate to reject this bill and reset the discussion to protect health coverage for as many Americans as possible, particularly the most vulnerable. As healthcare professionals, we understand better than anyone the importance of these issues and the very real impact they can have on our patients.
The American Hospital Association has prepared a message on their website (click here) that you can send to your Senators, making it easy for your voice to be heard. You can customize the message if you choose, or just send it as drafted. You will then be asked to enter your personal email address and zip code to ensure your message goes to the correct senators’ offices. It’s that easy. You can also elect to send messages to your senators via Twitter and Facebook if you wish.
I hope you will consider joining me to speak out in support of our patients and our organization.
Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS
The Lewis Katz Dean of the School of Medicine
Senior Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Temple University
President and CEO, Temple University Health System
Professor, Thoracic Medicine and Surgery