View the full press call here.
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Pennsylvania physicians warned that repealing federal healthcare protections endangers people’s safety and lives as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in a legal attack to strike down the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a rapidly worsening COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump and 18 Republican attorneys general are suing to repeal the ACA, and neither he nor the Republican-controlled Senate have offered a replacement.
Thirty Pennsylvania doctors, and over 200 doctors nationwide, have signed onto a national letter expressing their concerns for their patients and Americans if the ACA is overturned. The letter encourages all Americans to join healthcare workers in demanding elected leaders protect healthcare and prevent its repeal.
“As physicians, we see how healthcare is a lifeline for Pennsylvanians from all walks of life, and having healthcare is even more critical now as COVID-19 sickens and kills more people every day,” said Dr. Max Cooper, MD, Pennsylvania State Lead for the Committee to Protect Medicare and an emergency physician in Chester. “The Supreme Court will soon decide whether millions of Americans will keep the safety and security they get from having healthcare, or whether they get sicker and potentially die. From a medical perspective, Americans and Pennsylvanians need healthcare more than ever to protect themselves and their loved ones during a pandemic that has killed thousands of Pennsylvanians. Repealing the ACA now would send us back to a time when insurance companies could decide who got healthcare and who couldn’t, and with so many people sick and out of work, we simply can’t afford to leave so many Americans at risk of having their healthcare taken away.”
The repeal of the ACA threatens healthcare for 5.2 million Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and now COVID-19, and an estimated 996,000 who got healthcare through the ACA. That number includes 138,000 Pennsylvanians who lost their jobs and their employer-provided insurance but got health coverage through the ACA. Additionally, scientists are discovering that COVID-19 patients continued to have ongoing medical challenges weeks, even months, after being diagnosed, including chronic fatigue, even damage to vital organs such as lungs, the heart and the brain. Severe COVID-19 illness requiring hospitalization that can range in costs from $20,000 to $90,000 if ventilator support is required.
“Because of the actions of the Trump Administration, millions of Pennsylvanians are in danger of losing their healthcare, and putting that many people at risk is simply unacceptable,” said Dr. Meaghan Reid, DO, an emergency physician in Chester. “The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease so they can enjoy a better quality of life, and even avoid premature death. As physicians, we see how the ACA improves access to healthcare for all people, especially underserved and minority populations. Taking away healthcare from Pennsylvania’s families now — in the middle of a deadly pandemic with so many people uninsured or underinsured — is reckless and continues the Trump Administration strategy of sabotaging Americans’ healthcare, which has seen more than 2 million people losing health coverage in the past three years.”
On Saturday, Pennsylvania reported a single-day record of 4,035 positive cases. More than 235,000 Pennsylvanians have been sickened with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. More than 9,000 Pennsylvanians have died from COVID-19. Nationally, more than 235,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, with 10 million people infected.
Since mid-March, more than 44 million joblessness claims have been filed as of June 11. Millions of people have lost their employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)—millions of whom will be unable to replace it and will become uninsured. The ACA has helped many newly unemployed Americans who previously were covered by employer-sponsored insurance get health coverage, either through the ACA marketplaces, possibly with financial assistance to make their coverage more affordable, or via Medicaid expansion. Full repeal of the ACA, which the Trump Administration seeks and for which it has no replacement, would drop enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by 22.4 percent, and enrollment in individual market coverage, including for the ACA marketplaces and other insurance people purchase on their own, would drop by 35.4 percent.
PA Signers of the letter mentioned above:
Max Cooper, MD; Emergency Medicine (Nether Providence Township)
Meaghan Reid, DO; Emergency Medicine (Media)
Benjamin Abella, MD; Emergency Medicine (Philadelphia)
Bahar Adeli, MD; Internal Medicine (Philadelphia)
David Aizenberg, MD; Internal Medicine (Philadelphia)
Neal Berkowitz, MD; Family Medicine (Fogelsville)
Paula Bononi, MD; Internal Medicine (Glenside)
Carol Coldren, MD; Ob/Gyn (Coatesville)
Marcus Eubanks, MD, MPM, FACEP; Emergency Medicine (Pittsburgh)
Kerry Fagelman, MD; Pediatric Surgery (Lewisberry)
Nasrollah Ghahramani, MD; Nephrology (Hummelstown)
Kenneth Gorelick, MD; Internal Medicine (Newtown Square)
Barry Farkas, MD MPH; Family Medicine, Geriatrics (Pittsburgh)
Theodore Hovick Jr, MD; OB/Gyn (State College)
Richard Huskey, MD, DMn, MDiv; Geriatric Medicine (Trevorton)
Mohammed Khan, DDS, MD; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Pittsburgh)
Cinda Liggon, MD; Psychiatry (Fayetteville)
Brian McCauley, MD, MPH; Cardiology (Media)
Jonathan Morgan, MD; Radiology (Newtown Square)
Karen Newman, MD; Psychiatry (King of Prussia)
Josphat Nginyo, MD; OB GYN (Winber)
Nadja Peter, MD; Internal Medicine (Philadelphia)
Eliseo Rosario, MD; Pediatrics (Camphill)
Frank Silvestry, MD; Cardiology (Gladwyne)
Francis Solano, MD; Internal Medicine (Pittsburgh)
Marjorie Somers, MD; Psychiatry (Bryn Mawr)
Shelly Stelzer, MD; Anesthesiology (Landenberg)
Amy Talley, MD; Emergency Medicine (Phoenixville)
Audrey Tashjian, MD; Ob Gyn (Churchville)
Armen Voskeridjian, MD; Anesthesiology (Bryn Mawr)
About the Committee to Protect Medicare
The Committee to Protect Medicare is an advocacy organization made up of frontline doctors engaging in direct advocacy and communications in support of a stronger health care system in America. To learn more: https://committeetoprotect.org/
NOTE: The physicians above are speaking in their capacity as members of the Committee to Protect Medicare. They should be identified only as indicated in this news release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 10, 2020