Health Care Reform FACT CHECK: The Health Reform Law Restricts Access to Doctors

For Immediate Release:

January 19, 2011

What Republicans are Saying:

Rep. Scott Desjarlais said the law; “will ultimately end up restricting patients' access to quality health care by placing Washington bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.”

Here Are the Facts:

The health reform law gives Americans more freedom to choose their doctor.

The health reform law included key consumer protections to help keep insurance companies from getting between patients and the care they need. It expands the number of people with access to a physician by: (1) making affordable, quality insurance available to all Americans; (2) increasing the numbers of doctors and other medical providers, especially primary care providers, in the workforce; and (3) expanding funding available to community health centers.

The Affordable Care Act: 1) guarantees you get to choose your primary care doctor; 2) allows you to choose a pediatrician as your child’s primary care doctor; and 3) gives women the right to see an OB-GYN without having to obtain a referral first.

Many providers agree that repeal is not constructive:

American Academy of Family Physicians: “A repeal of all provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will return our health care system to its previous trends of unsustainable, increasing costs and ever-growing numbers of under- and uninsured Americans. It will have negative consequences on Americans’ access to needed health care for years to come.”

American Medical Association: "The AMA does not support initiatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Expanding health coverage, insurance market reforms, administrative simplifications and initiatives to promote wellness and prevention are key parts of the new law that reflect AMA priorities."

American College of Physicians: “ACP believes that Congress should preserve and - as necessary - improve on these and other important reforms created by the Affordable Care Act, not repeal them.”

Doctors for America: “Repealing the health care reform law will only move our health care system backward – and millions of patients simply can’t afford that.”

National Hispanic Medical Association: “NHMA supports the Affordable Care Act as it is a step forward in caring for the health of the underserved communities and all Americans. Investing in the health of Americans, our most valuable resource, is sound policy and a wise course of action when so many diseases are preventable and treatable. For this reason we ask you to cast a vote against H.R.2.”

American Osteopathic Association: “The Affordable Care Act made fundamental and important changes in our health care system that will improve the health of our patients individually and our nation as a whole.”

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