Another hurdle may be the newly released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that puts real numbers on what can be expected if the bill in its present form is passed into law. According to the CBO report, 14 million people would lose coverage in 2018 under the proposed AHCA, a number that would climb to 24 million in 2026.5
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For Dr. Worthing, this provides ample time for advocacy efforts. “There is time for the rheumatology community to advocate for our profession and our patients by sharing our views with members of Congress,” he says, assuring ACR and ARHP members that such advocacy is already being done on behalf of rheumatologists, rheumatology professionals and patients.
Mary Beth Nierengarten is a freelance medical journalist based in Minneapolis.
- American College of Rheumatology. AHCA does not go far enough to help Americans with rheumatic diseases. 2017 March 9. http://www.rheumatology.org/About-Us/Newsroom/Press-Releases/ID/798/ACR-AHCA-Does-Not-Go-Far-Enough-to-Help-Americans-with-Rheumatic-Diseases.
- American Medical Association. AMA says American Health Care Act is critically flawed. 2017 March 8. https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-says-american-health-care-act-critically-flawed.
- American Association of Retired Persons. Letter to Congress. 2017 March 7. http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/politics/advocacy/2017/03/aarp-letter-to-congress-on-american-healthcare-act-march-07-2017.pdf.
- Congressional Budget Office. American Health Care Act:Budget Reconciliation Recommendations of the House Committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. 2017 March 13. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486.