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Pediatricians say NO to latest health bill

by

Claudia Boyd-Barrett

posted in Parenting

The latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is bad news for children and families, according to the nation’s leading pediatrician group.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joined dozens of other professional medical organizations this week in condemning the bill sponsored by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.

“I am fearful for my patients,” AAP president Dr. Fernando Stein said in a press release. “As president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I must speak out against this dangerous, ill-conceived policy on behalf of our 66,000 pediatrician, pediatric surgical specialist and pediatric medical subspecialist members, and stop it from advancing.”

He’s not alone. Other organizations that have vehemently opposed the bill include the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, and Federation of American Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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So what’s so bad about this legislation? According to analyses by various organizations such as Kaiser Health News it would:

• Dramatically cut funding for Medicaid, the government insurance program for low-income families, and end the expansion that allowed millions more people to qualify for it, including children.

• End subsidies and tax credits that have helped millions of families afford health insurance.

• Allow states to ditch protections that require insurance companies to abide by certain rules. These rules include covering basic medical services (including pregnancy, maternity and newborn care), not making people with pre-existing conditions pay more than others for health insurance (pregnancy and a prior C-section have counted as pre-existing conditions in the past), and not limiting how much they’ll pay toward care for sick and medically needy patients.

In summary, if the latest bill passes, more families would be left uninsured or with unaffordable, substandard health insurance policies, analysts conclude.

Have you been following news of the latest healthcare bill? What do you think of the legislation?

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