December 28, 2009
Doctors, Insurers and Business React to Senate Bill
The Wall Sreet Journal's Health Blog provides comments on H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, from key interest groups, including those which represent doctors, insurers and business. "The short version: The AMA, drug industry and AARP backed the bill; health insurers and the Chamber of Commerce did not."
AHIP, the health insurance trade group:
Health plans support legislative changes that would provide guaranteed access to all Americans, with no pre-existing condition limitations and no health-status-based premiums. … At the same time, specific provisions in this legislation will increase, rather than decrease, health care costs; reduce coverage options; and disrupt existing coverage for families, seniors and small businesses – particularly between now and when the legislation is fully implemented in 2014.
The AMA supported passage of the bill because it contains a number of key improvements for our health care system, which currently is not working for far too many patients or the physicians who dedicate their lives to patient care. Important issues that need to be resolved in the House-Senate conference committee include the scope, authority, accountability and transparency of a payment advisory board. The details of several cost control and quality improvement initiatives also need to be refined so that they do not have unintended consequences for patients and physicians. (full statement)
PhRMA, the drug industry trade group:
In the final analysis, we believe the Senate bill provides the best blueprint for reform. It offers the kind of change that will benefit patients today without putting medical progress at risk in the future. Today, we believe the Senate voted with America’s best interests and future in mind. (full statement)
AdvaMed, the medical device trade group:
The tax on medical devices and diagnostics present significant challenges for our industry, but we are committed to working constructively on a number of important refinements to implementation. These include a start date of 2013 to allow companies reasonable time to prepare for the tax, protections for small companies, and ensuring that the tax is deductible.
The bill passed by the Senate makes needed progress to prevent coverage denials due to health status and limit insurance companies from charging older Americans much more for coverage because of their age. It also begins to close the dangerous gap in Medicare drug coverage known as the doughnut hole, and Senate leaders have committed that a final bill will close the gap entirely by 2019, in keeping with the President’s pledge. (full statement)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
The business community has been consistent in calling for health care reform, but the bill that was passed by the Senate today is counterproductive, does little to lower the cost of health care, and it is not reform. It implements crippling new taxes, and hurts our ability to create jobs at the worst possible time for the economy. (full statement)