ACC Releases Health Policy Principles to Guide Advocacy Efforts in New Congress, Administration

As the Trump Administration and new Congress 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), the ACC has developed a set of eight comprehensive and overarching principles intended to serve as a lens through which to evaluate new health care legislation as it emerges.

The principles, which were drafted by the ACC’s Health Affairs Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees, will guide the College’s advocacy efforts and discussions with lawmakers and government agencies with the goal of ensuring any new or updated policies and provisions protect patient access to quality, cost-effective care and ensure continued investment in cardiovascular research, prevention, and health care workforce development.

  1. Expand access to and prevent loss of health care coverage through public and private programs.
  2. Guarantee access to affordable coverage options for patients with cardiovascular disease or other pre-existing medical conditions.
  3. Improve access to and coverage of preventive care and expand the nation’s investment in research, prevention, public health, and disease surveillance.
  4. Continue and build upon policies to promote usability and interoperability of health information technology to improve patient care and outcomes.
  5. Maintain commitment to patient-centered, evidence-based care and reverse the trends toward decreased personal contact between the patient and the physician/care team.
  6. Emphasize professionalism, transparency, and the collaborative clinician-patient relationship to improve quality and promote better outcomes.
  7. Foster collaborative development, testing, and expansion of models that promote and reward value, team-based care, and shared decision making through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and other entities.
  8. Minimize barriers to the delivery of efficient, high-quality cardiovascular care in all practice settings.

The new Administration and Congress have indicated that repealing and replacing the ACA, cabinet confirmations, tax reform, raising the debt limit, and passing a spending package are key priorities over the coming months. The ACC's leadership, guided by the Health Affairs Committee, will leverage these principles and continue to be engaged in discussions with lawmakers and regulators to ensure that 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 will be similar to that of years past,” said ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, in a recent JACC Leadership Page. “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.”

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Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Decision Making, Health Policy, Insurance, Health, Investments, Leadership, Medicaid, Medical Informatics, Medicare, National Institutes of Health (U.S.), Patient Care, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Patient-Centered Care, Public Health, Staff Development, United States, ACC Scientific Session Newspaper

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