January 23, 2017
Dear Senator Merkley:
This letter is regarding President Trump’s nominee Representative Tom Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Rep. Price has received the endorsement of the American medical Association, but many physicians and healthcare advocates are quite concerned about his professional and voting records.
These actions are described in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, the most respected medical journal in the United States and the world (attached). Here are examples of some of the issues Rep. Price has voted AGAINST:
· • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act which improved coverage for mental health in private insurance;
· • Regulating tobacco as a drug:
· • Expansion of the State Children’s Insurance Program;
· • The Violence Against Women Act;
· • Legislation prohibiting job discrimination of the basis of gender identity;
· • Stem cell research;
· • Reforms of provider payment based on quality performance and value of care services delivered;
· • Funding for the global fight against AIDS/TB/malaria.
Furthermore, Rep. Price has voted in favor of:
· • Making armor-piercing bullets more accessible to the general public;
· • Allowing hospitals to turn away Medicare/Medicaid patients seeking care if they could not afford co-pays;
· • Physician interest groups holding veto power over the release of comparative effectiveness research findings.
The New England Journal of Medicine editorial lamented that Rep. Price’s record demonstrates a much greater concern for the economic wellbeing of physicians than for patient care. We would like to share with you our deep concerns, and hope that you will consider the above information in you decision.
Chinh Le, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Hochfeld, MD email@example.com
Jane Huyer, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
John Gotchall, MD email@example.com
Michael Huntington, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard LaFrance, MD email@example.com
James Nusrala, MD firstname.lastname@example.orgBruce Thomson, MDbethomson@msn.com
Elizabeth Waldron, MD email@example.com
Roberta Hall, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald and Mary Ann Guenther email@example.com
Betty Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochelle Murphy email@example.com
Summary of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicare For All - full text of Rep. John Conyers' bill
The Urban Institute to analyze effects of the ACA
The Urban Institute is undertaking a comprehensive monitoring and tracking project to examine the implementation and effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA, also known as "Obamacare"). The project began in May 2011 and will take place over several years.
The Urban Institute will document changes to the implementation of national health reform to help states, researchers and policymakers learn from the process as it unfolds. Reports that have been prepared as part of this ongoing project can be found at the Robert Wood Johnson website: www.rwjf.org and www.healthpolicycenter.org. The quantitative component of the project is producing analyses of the effects of the ACA on coverage, health expenditures, affordability, access and premiums in the states and nationally.
For more, an executive summary is available here.