WSMA President's Statement on Better Care Reconciliation Act

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2017   Amy Snow Landa on behalf of the WSMA


Shane Macaulay, MD

Seattle, Wash. — Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) President Shane Macaulay, MD, issued the following statement today in response to the unveiling of the U.S. Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act:

“At the WSMA, our focus is on making Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. However, the ‘discussion draft’ of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act jeopardizes that vision. Like the House-passed American Health Care Act, the Senate bill would reverse the gains we have made in Washington state in reducing the number of uninsured and would make affordable insurance unattainable for many of our patients. For those reasons, we cannot support the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

“At the heart of the WSMA’s principles for health care reform is access to comprehensive, affordable health care for all Washingtonians, including support for programs like Medicaid and Medicare and through the preservation of coverage attained through the Affordable Care Act. Our principles also call for stabilizing the health insurance market to ensure choice and insurer participation.

“Adequate funding for Medicaid and stability in the market are essential if we are to ensure that all Washingtonians have access to affordable coverage. By compromising these provisions in their proposal to change the Affordable Care Act, Congress has only exacerbated the problem. In our state, we are already seeing insurers pull out of the individual market due to market uncertainty. We’ve also seen proposed increases in insurance rates of over 20 percent. This impacts not only the most vulnerable, but also those with employer-sponsored coverage. By dropping the employer mandate, the Senate bill increases the likelihood that employers will pull back from offering coverage to their employees as prices begin to climb."

Click here to read WSMA’s Principles for Health Care Reform.

About the WSMA

The Washington State Medical Association is the only organization that represents the interests and priorities of all physicians, resident physicians, medical students and physician assistants in Washington state. Our more than 10,000 members stand together, across disciplines and practice types, to influence public policy impacting health care delivery and shape the future of the profession. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the House of Medicine for more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.