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Healthcare Bill Should Preserve Coverage, American Medical Association Says

The president of the American Medical Association visited Cleveland today to launch a campaign lobbying Senate Republicans on healthcare.

Joining the AMA in this effort are the AARP, the American Hospital Association and other health advocacy groups. They’ll also hold events in Nevada, Colorado and West Virginia.

AMA president Dr. David Barbe said any healthcare plan should preserve the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and ensure that low and moderate-income patients can afford coverage.  

While the country’s healthcare system does need “significant repair,” he said, the ACA has broadened coverage.

“The thing it has done most successfully is extend coverage to over 20 million Americans,” Barbe said in an interview. “And we as the AMA, and other groups here today as part of Protect Patients First, simply cannot abide by a loss of coverage.”

It’s unclear when the Senate would vote on a bill, or how it would differ from the House version, known as the AHCA, which the AMA opposes.

Barbe said he expects a quick turnaround, adding urgency to the campaign, dubbed “Protect Patients First.”

“The other problem is, this is all happening behind closed doors,” he said. “We don’t know what the Senate is going to bring out.”

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