On Feb. 21, 2017, western Pennsylvania Congressman Keith
Rothfus (R-12th District) met with a dozen Allegheny County Medical
Society physician leaders to discuss the repeal of the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) and the development of new legislation to replace the ACA.
PAMED's Principles of Health Care Reform
In 2009, the
Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED’s) executive committee of the Board of Trustees
developed “Eight Essential Principles of Health Care Reform.” The guidance says
that any reforms to the nation's health system must be properly funded,
increase efficiency, make coverage available and affordable, and provide care
that’s based on expert consensus or evidence. Get PAMED’s Essential Principles
Rep. Rothfus is in his third term, and his district includes
parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset, and Westmoreland
As have many members of the Congress, Rep. Rothfus has
undertaken a ‘listening tour” to share his views of the evolving health care
law and get input and opinions from stakeholders in the important process. He noted that important changes to the health
care universe came through the recently enacted 21st Century Cures
Act, including mental health reforms championed by Congressman Tim Murphy (R – 18th
Rep. Rothfus stated that he wants to “meet the expectations
of the people of the country” as they use health care.
Discussions with the physicians covered a broad spectrum,
including the expanded coverage for Medicaid patients, budget constraints, the impact
of new U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, MD, plans for
insurance premium tax credits, aspects of the high-risk insurance pool, and the
potential for pre-tax premiums for those holding individual plans.
Physicians at the meeting expressed concern about the need
to expand primary care, continuing professional liability issues and high drug
costs among other things.