Released on Mar 22, 2017

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Statement on the American Health Care Act

Karen L. Woods, MD, FASGE 
ASGE President-Elect 

 

Downers Grove, Illinois, March 22, 2017 — “The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is committed to the principle that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care coverage and that reforms should not result in individuals who are currently covered becoming uninsured.  

 

As such, the ASGE cannot support the American Health Care Act, as currently drafted, and asks Congress to instead work with the health care community to address the shortcomings of our current health care system.  

 

In 2016, an estimated 9.4 million individuals received subsidies for health coverage purchased through the insurance exchanges. Most of these individuals took the subsidy, or tax credit, in advance to help cover the cost of their premiums. For many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, a subsidy is the means by which coverage is affordable. It is not clear at this time whether replacing the current premium subsidy offering with a refundable tax credit will adequately protect the current levels of insured patients. We also know that keeping adults healthy before they become Medicare-eligible puts less strain on our health care system and federal spending. An age-based refundable tax credit that deters or makes it less affordable for older adults to purchase health insurance is a policy that ignores long-term consequences for perceived short-term gains.  

 

Millions of Americans have benefited from state Medicaid expansion. ASGE looks forward to hearing from our nation’s governors about the tools and resources they need to best provide health care coverage and access to their most at-risk populations.  

 

Representing physicians who are on the front lines of diagnosing colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in this country, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created an important health care benefit — preventive services without patient cost-sharing. We urge that these types of benefits not only be preserved, but improved. For years, ASGE has been fighting alongside Republicans and Democrats to close a cost-sharing loophole in the ACA that deters older Americans from getting a colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy. Saving lives from colorectal cancer is an example of where we can find common ground. ASGE urges congressional lawmakers to work together and seek common ground for the good of the American public.”