As tends to be the case with developing stories on pending legislation, coverage of the debate over the proposed American Health Care Act is largely focused on how elected politicians are reacting to it. They, after all, have the votes to accept, reject or modify the plan. Sometimes, lost in the accounts of partisan and ideological battles are the opinions of experts on health care. The organizations that represent the professionals with the most experience in delivering health care to Americans are solidly against the new plan.

American Medical Association

On Wednesday, the American Medical Association denounced the proposal, saying it will leave Americans seeking health insurance and care that will leave them worse off than they are now. ”The proposed changes in tax credits and subsidies to help patients purchase private health insurance coverage are expected to result in fewer Americans with insurance coverage,” the AMA said.

The plan would also make it more difficult for states to keep up with insurance demands, resulting in fewer lower-income having access to quality care. The criticism is echoed by Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. The AMA wants a Congressional Budget Office review of the legislation, but is pointing to an S&P Global Ratings estimate that 10 million Americans could lose insurance under the new plan.

American Hospital Association

Joining physicians opposing the legislation is the American Hospital Association. “Maintaining deep provider reductions while dramatically reducing coverage will reduce our ability to provide essential care to those newly uninsured and those without adequate insurance,” the AHA wrote Wednesday in a letter to key members of Congress signed by additional health organizations.

Restructuring the Medicaid program, the AHA added, could result in many of those currently enrolled losing their insurance, and prevent others from gaining initial coverage.

Congressional action

The legislation was introduced Monday by Speaker Paul Ryan on behalf of the majority of House Republicans. Congressional committees began considering the proposal on Wednesday. Democrats are expected to be unanimous, or nearly so, in rejecting the repeal of Obamacare.

It is possible that enough opposition from several conservative and moderate Republicans could sink the proposal, as currently written. President Donald Trump has endorsed the plan, and is actively lobbying Republicans in an effort to see it passed, as is.

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