Access to Care

Timeline of AMA’s efforts to support health insurance coverage


The AMA has long advocated for expanded health insurance coverage and key health insurance reforms that would help patients and their physicians. The AMA’s highest priority is to ensure the millions of Americans who have gained health care coverage because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) law maintain their coverage in addition to their patient protections.

June 13: The AMA and other physician organizations defend patient protections and coverage by filing an amicus brief in the case of Texas v. United States, a lawsuit that threatens popular key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, releases an article about the AMA's amicus brief to defend patients' ACA coverage. 

September 19: The AMA sent a letter to the Senate opposing the the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Amendment to H.R. 1628, the "American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017." The amendment, which was not adopted, would have resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilized health insurance markets and decreased access to affordable coverage and care.

The AMA was also concerned that this proposal would have converted the Medicaid program into a system that limits federal support for needy patients through a predetermined formula based on per-capita caps, and that this block grant to states would have been inadequately funded.

June 22: The Senate leadership releases a discussion draft of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017" legislation that would repeal and replace several major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate’s discussion draft fails to meet the AMA’s core principles on health system reform that include ensuring that individuals currently covered do not become uninsured and taking steps toward coverage and access for all Americans including the ability for low- and moderate-income patients to be able to secure affordable and adequate coverage. 

June 26: The AMA issues a letter to Congress to oppose the discussion draft of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” National Public Radio (NPR) interviews AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA: “The AMA’s Take on GOP Health Care Plan.”

April 27: The AMA strongly opposes the House passage of AHCA and warns proposed changes to AHCA will not remedy issues with the bill. The AMA's letter to Congress urged Representatives to oppose the bill, reiterating concerns that millions of Americans would lose their current health care insurance coverage.

March 22: The AMA expresses their chief concerns about the American Health Care Act in a letter to Congress. 

March 7: The AMA issues a letter to Congress outlining their main concerns about the American Health Care Act.

January 3: In a letter to Congressional leaders and the incoming Administration, the AMA reaffirms its strong vision for America’s health system and our belief that the patient remains at the center of all reform efforts. The AMA is committed to working with leadership in both parties to improve health insurance coverage and health care access so that patients receive timely, high-quality care, preventive services, medications and other necessary treatments.

Table of Contents

  1. 2018 Actions 
  2. 2017 Actions