Health Reform Bill Passes in U.S. House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4 with a 217 – 213 vote in favor of the legislation which will repeal and replace provisions under the Affordable Care Act – a key priority for this presidential administration and Congress. The legislation will now move to the Senate.

"The American College of Cardiology opposes the AHCA in its current form, and is disappointed by its passage today in the U.S. House of Representatives," said ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. "As it stands, the AHCA would allow states to bypass existing federal protections for sick and elderly people, and potentially undermine coverage for critical services for patients with heart disease. This iteration of the AHCA is inconsistent with the ACC's Principles for Health Reform, which reflect our belief in the importance of promoting patient access to meaningful insurance coverage and quality, cost-effective care."

The ACC has previously expressed concerns about elements of the AHCA, particularly its impact on patient coverage. The College's principles prioritize improved coverage for - and access to - efficient, high quality care; protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions; and continued national investment in preventive care, medical research and innovations.

"It is important for all members of Congress to prioritize protection for the most vulnerable Americans as health reform efforts move forward. The ACC will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to create solutions that maintain patient access to the coverage and care they need," said Walsh.

Keywords: Delivery of Health Care, Health Care Reform, Insurance Coverage, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Preexisting Condition Coverage, Quality of Health Care

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