US doctors' groups oppose Obamacare repeal

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 9 (IANS) Opposition to the Republican health care bill strengthened, as key industry groups that had supported Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the 'Obamacare', said its replacement could harm vulnerable Americans, the media reported.

The American Medical Association, which bills itself as the largest organisation of doctors in the nation, in a letter on Wednesday, detailed its critique of the bill, known as the American Health Care Act that which would repeal Obamacare signed in 2010, CNN reported.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would limit future federal funding for Medicaid, which covers low-income people; abolish the requirement that everyone should be insured; and replace subsidies with tax credits.

"While we agree that there are problems with the ACA that must be addressed, we cannot support the AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations," the letter stated.

Major hospital organisations, including the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American hospitals have also come out against the bill.

The Association of Retired Persons, a lobbying group for older Americans, has opposed the plan too, saying funding for the Medicare insurance programme for the elderly could be cut.

However, White House spokesman Sean Spicer shrugged off the building opposition from the medical establishment, reports CNN.

"We would love to have every group on board," Spicer said, adding, "This isn't about figuring out how many special interests in Washington we can get paid off. It's about making sure that patients get the best deal, that lowers prices and brings back cost."

The AHCA bill is now being considered by two congressional committees ahead of its passage through the House and Senate.

--IANS

ksk/vm