Last Updated: Apr 2, 2019
The following is a statement from John Gallagher, MD, Chair of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Board of Trustees. Pa. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale's said April 2 that the latest legal attack on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect nearly all Americans and create a budget disaster for Pennsylvania.
The physician membership of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) has great concerns about anything that stands to remove affordable health care coverage from our patients, especially without a plan for replacement coverage.
One of PAMED’s guiding principles regarding health system reform is “health care coverage should be available and affordable to all American citizens and legal residents.”
When patients lose their health care coverage, they will frequently delay or, worse, stop seeking health care, regardless of their needs. This results in sicker patients, a less healthy population, and ultimately worse patient outcomes.
Eventually, these patients, when they can no longer tolerate their illness, visit the emergency department, as they feel this is their only option. Utilizing the emergency department as a primary care option stresses a very valuable health care resource and needlessly drives up health care costs.
Access to health care is a leading concern of our citizens, governments, and certainly the physician members of PAMED. Repealing any form of coverage for patients, without a concrete plan to replace it, puts patients at risk resulting in a less healthy population.
As Pennsylvania’s leading advocate for physicians and their patients, we stand today urging you to pause and use extreme caution regarding any measure that could potentially put patients at risk by removing health care coverage from the citizens of Pennsylvania without a very clear plan for how to replace that coverage.
# # #
The Pennsylvania Medical Society helps its 20,000 physician and medical student members return to the art of medicine through advocacy and education. Learn more by visiting www.pamedsoc.org or by following us on Twitter at @PAMEDSociety.