The American Medical Association laid into the many problems visible within the healthcare bill being proposed by Senate Republicans, explaining that the bill, if passed into law, would violate the fundamental principle of medical treatment.
“Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm,'” the letter from AMA CEO James Madara said. “The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.”
“Though we await additional analysis of the proposal, it seems highly likely that [the plan authored by Senate Republicans] will expose low and middle income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care,” the letter added.
The AMA also seemed to suggest it preferred a fix to Obamacare rather than a Republican “repeal and replace” plan that does significant harm to millions of Americans. “We sincerely hope that the Senate will take this opportunity to change the course of the current debate and work to fix problems with the current system,” the letter said.
The proposed bill that passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would nearly double the number of Americans without coverage over the next ten years. The Senate version of Trumpcare has not yet been officially scored by the Congressional Budget Office, but its expected to hurt the a larger number of citizens as well, with one estimate suggesting as many as 217,000 Americans could die over the next decade.
“We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect,” the letter closed.
The ideal of “first, do no harm” traces its roots back to Hippocrates, a Greek physician born nearly 2,500 years ago. Although there is some dispute over whether he coined the term or not, the phrase “do no harm” is one that all physicians ascribe to as part of the Hippocratic Oath.
Read the full letter below, via Brad Jaffy of NBC News:
American Medical Association comes out strongly against Senate health bill, says it violates “first, do no harm … standard on many levels” pic.twitter.com/0k67TSnC9v
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 26, 2017