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March 14, 2017
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

American Health Care Act Will Restore, Protect, and Preserve the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., joined President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House for a listening session on healthcare. The participants included doctors, patients, and small business owners who discussed Obamacare and how the current law is failing them.

After listening to their stories, the Secretary released the following statement in support of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), specifically its provisions to restore, protect, and preserve the doctor-patient relationship.

“The doctor-patient relationship is the most sacred part of our entire healthcare system. The personal stories we heard today are further evidence that under the current healthcare law, that relationship is being undermined. The Affordable Care Act has given Washington more power and authority over healthcare, leaving patients and providers with less freedom over medical decisions. Whenever the federal government thinks it knows better than a patient and their doctor about what they need, quality of care is compromised.

“The American Health Care Act will restore, protect and preserve the doctor-patient relationship — the trusting partnership that is fundamental to quality healthcare. Our reform effort will ensure patients and physicians are the ones making medical decisions, not Washington, and provide relief to those being harmed by the current healthcare system.”

How the American Health Care Act Protects the Doctor-Patient Relationship

  • Empowering Patients with Access to Healthcare Dollars. The American Health Care Act expands the usefulness of Health Savings Accounts, adding flexibility and increasing contribution limits so that Americans can build savings for when healthcare needs arise.
  • Expanding Patient Choice to See the Doctor of Their Choice. Every American should be able to choose the plan that fits their needs and allows them to see the doctor that they want. We will end the ‘Washington knows best’ mentality of picking winners and losers among patients. Instead, patients will have the freedom to choose the coverage that is right for them. That could be a comprehensive plan with a broad network, an HMO plan, or a catastrophic plan that allows the patient to shop around to get the best deal on routine medical expenses – it’s up to you, not Washington, DC.
  • Encouraging Innovation to Protect Patients. The AHCA’s Patient and State Stability Fund will allow states to ensure meaningful access to care for patients through a variety of innovation options to drive down costs, improve access to coverage options, and provide further financial assistance to lower premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs.
  • Providing Patients with Meaningful Access to Care. When a doctor recommends a procedure, but a patient has a $6,000 or $10,000 deductible, they may have “coverage,” but they don’t have care. They cannot afford the procedure that their doctor is recommending they have. This is a classic example of Washington inserting itself into the hospital examination room. We’re working to let market forces lower the cost of care and bring down premiums and deductibles, so that patients not only have coverage, but meaningful access to the procedures they need and that their doctor recommends.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: March 14, 2017

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