Health System Reform
Passed by The U.S. House
of Representatives

On March 21 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as the reconciliation bill, H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, which contains additional refinements. HMA continues to review health system reform provisions as they relate to Hawaii’s unique situation.The HMA Council has voted to reserve support for legislation that does not properly address medical liability reform, commissions and committees that lead to limiting medical innovation, lack of provisions ensuring universal access, and factors that increase overall costs.

The AMA offered its qualified support for passage of H.R. 3590, stating that “it will improve the ability of patients and their physicians to achieve better health outcomes.” The association has also stated they will work with Congress and the Obama administration to make critical changes—outlined in a letter to Congress—that cannot be addressed through the reconciliation process.

The AMA’s key concepts for meaningful health system reform are:

  • Health insurance coverage for all Americans
  • Insurance market reforms that expand choice of affordable coverage and eliminate denials for pre-existing conditions or due to arbitrary caps
  • Assurance that health care decisions will remain in the hands of patients and their physicians, not insurance companies or government officials
  • Investments and incentives for quality improvement and prevention and wellness initiatives
  • Repeal of the Medicare physician payment formula that triggers steep cuts and threaten seniors’ access to care
  • Implementation of medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of defensive medicine
  • Streamline and standardize insurance claims processing requirements to eliminate unnecessary costs and administrative burdens

HMA President Communicates to White House: View Dr. Gary Okamoto’s comments to President Obama’s Office of Health Reform, discussing health system reform as part of Congressman Neil Abercrombie’s Healthcare Advisory Task Force:

Review AMA’s frequently asked questions on health system reform.

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