Press Releases

ACR Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Association Health Plans

Statement from Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD, President of the American College of Rheumatology

ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology remains committed to supporting policies that provide affordable and accessible healthcare coverage for the 54 million Americans living with rheumatic diseases. After reviewing the President’s most recent executive order, we are concerned about how the order will affect insurance coverage of essential health benefits while keeping premiums affordable for patients.

Throughout this year’s debate over the future of healthcare, the ACR has held the position that any reform measure must include provisions that would protect our patients’ access to comprehensive and affordable rheumatologic care. These provisions include protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, requiring essential health benefits that include services particularly valuable to arthritis patients, and making plans with affordable premiums, low deductibles and minimal cost sharing available.

While the changes executed in the President’s executive order may lower insurance premiums for some, we are concerned that essential health benefits that are vital to individuals living with rheumatic disease – such as rehabilitation, prescription medicines and lab testing – could be reduced or restricted. Additionally, the proposal to eliminate cost sharing reduction (CSR) measures may reduce low-income patients’ access to health insurance, thus making it difficult for them to access the care that they require. Rheumatic diseases are life-long, chronic conditions that require continuous health insurance coverage that encourages high quality care.

The ACR is currently working on possible solutions to share during the rule-making process and stands ready to work with both the administration and lawmakers in Congress to ensure that this policy is implemented in a manner that protects patient access to critical rheumatology healthcare services.

Jocelyn Givens
jgivens@rheumatology.org
404-633-3777, ext. 810

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The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is the nation’s leading advocacy organization for the rheumatology care community, representing more than 9,500 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. As an ethically driven, professional membership organization committed to improving healthcare for Americans living with rheumatic diseases, the ACR advocates for high-quality, high-value policies and reforms that will ensure safe, effective, affordable and accessible rheumatology care.

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