Post-Election Response From ACC Leadership
Since election results were announced we've both been inundated by questions and speculation from ACC members and other physician colleagues about what the Trump presidency will mean for health care in general and for physicians in particular. Much remains unclear today, but we'd like to offer ACC members our perspectives on a few points.
First, Republican control of the White House in addition to the House and Senate does represent a fundamental shift in the political environment. It's a virtual certainty that the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress will move quickly to begin the process of making significant changes to the health insurance reforms and other policies implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We don't know yet how that process will unfold, what elements of the ACA Republicans will seek to repeal, what will remain, or what will be proposed in the ACA's place. Over the next several weeks ACC's leadership, guided by the Health Affairs Committee, will be considering how the College can best engage in this process on behalf of our patients and the clinicians who care for them.
You may also be wondering what the election results mean for the changes in Medicare's physician payment system initiated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It's important to remember that unlike the ACA, which has been controversial and bitterly partisan, the MACRA legislation enacted last year was the product of a broad and strong bipartisan consensus. MACRA's key architects remain in Congress and are committed to its implementation. We encourage you to continue your preparations to meet MACRA requirements in 2017. Details are available here.
As the president-elect’s new leadership team and key appointees within the Department of Health and Human Services and its constituent agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assume their positions, we will likely begin to see new approaches to other health care issues and programs. The ACC will continue working with regulators to ensure clinicians are able to offer patients access to necessary cardiovascular care services and therapies. Even as political appointees and some career staff may change, ongoing engagement with federal agencies such as the FDA, CMS, National Institutes of Health, and others in 2017 will be similar to that occurring in 2016.
On the congressional front, we now know the makeup of the 115th Congress that will take office in January. ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) contributed to 90 members and candidates up for election during the 2016 election cycle. Of these, 81 were elected. Click here for a list of ACCPAC-supported candidates and their election results. As we prepare to work with the new Congress to advance ACC's mission, strong ACC member support for ACCPAC will continue to be essential. To learn more about ACCPAC, please visit accpacweb.org.
At the end of the day, the ACC has a long-standing history of working across political parties to advance the College's mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health. We look forward to working with the new presidential administration and Congress in the New Year around policies that protect patient access to quality, cost-effective care and ensure continued funding for things like cardiovascular research and graduate medical education.
Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC
Thad F. Waites, MD, FACC
Chair, Health Affairs Committee
Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Insurance, Health, Leadership, Medicaid, Medicare, National Institutes of Health (U.S.), Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, United States Dept. of Health and Human Services, United States Food and Drug Administration, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015
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