WSMA President's Statement on the Health Care Freedom Act

For Immediate Release
July 30, 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 U.S. Senate’s vote to reject the Health Care Freedom Act, also known as the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act:

“We commend the majority of U.S. senators, including Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell, for voting against a so-called ‘skinny repeal’ of the Affordable Care Act that would have reversed the gains we have made in Washington state in reducing the number of uninsured and making comprehensive, affordable insurance attainable for many of our patients.

“At the WSMA, our focus is on making Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. Our principles for health care reform center around access to comprehensive, affordable health care for all Washingtonians, including support for adequate funding for Medicaid and Medicare and 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. The proposals put forward in the Senate, if enacted, would jeopardize that vision.

“The individual insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act is intended to support stability in the market and is integral to the Affordable Care Act. The Health Care Freedom Act would have eliminated the individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office projected last year would result in millions more people being uninsured by 2026. In our state, we are already seeing insurers pull out of the individual market due to market uncertainty. Eliminating the individual mandate would make the current instability in the individual market worse.

“Going forward, the WSMA urges Congress to put aside partisan rhetoric and instead engage in bipartisan discussions with physicians and other health care organizations to improve the health care system to ensure access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage.”

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.