‘Patients before politics': AMA launches site focused on ACA repeal debate

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After coming out in opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican-sponsored plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Medical Association (AMA) is stepping up efforts to get physicians involved in the legislative conversation through a new website.

The site, patientsbeforepolitics.org, offers links for doctors and patients to contact their members of Congress with a form email entitled, “Important changes must be made to the AHCA.” It identifies several provisions in the legislation as “troubling,” including basing tax credits for buying insurance on age, rather than income, repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund and rolling back the expanded eligibility for Medicaid.

“Changes to Medicaid could further limit states' ability to respond to changes in demand for services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment as a result of the ongoing crisis of opioid abuse and addiction,” the letter reads.

Anyone using the site can modify or delete the text AMA has included or send it along as-is. The form letters are the exact same for physicians and patients.

The point of the site is to advocate for the AMA’s position on healthcare reform, like protecting gains in insurance coverage, while informing visitors about the latest developments in Congress.

“Putting patients first is at the heart of everything we do as physicians. That’s why we are committed to working with leadership in both parties to improve health insurance coverage and health care access so that patients receive timely, high-quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments,” AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD, said in a statement. “This new website will equip physicians and patients around the country with the information and tools they need so they can join us in urging Congress to put patients before politics and ensure every American has access to affordable, meaningful coverage and high-quality health care.”

The AMA is promising to add additional content, such as videos and testimonials designed to be shared on social media and an interactive feature where visitors can “build their own health care reform proposal.”