Doctors Agree: One-size-fits-all health care is the wrong approach

As physicians, we know first-hand the struggle patients face to combat rising health care costs and find access to quality care.

There's no question that a proposal to improve our system must be considered; however, drastically overhauling our entire health care system is not the answer. Instead, we must build on the successes of the ACA through practical, achievable and incremental reforms like Medicaid expansion, increased federal subsidies, and consumer education.

In short: A one-sized-fits-all system is the wrong approach.

Whether it's known as "Medicare for All", single-payer, or the public option, moving directly to a government-run plan presents dire consequences. Under such a system, providers may see reimbursement rates drop drastically, which could ultimately undermine their ability to deliver high-quality services. Many facilities could be forced to close, downgrade services, or lay off much-needed staff – especially in rural areas where as many as 1,000 locations in 46 states could be affected.

A one-size-fits-all system also fails to address our number one challenge: rising health care costs. By removing all ACA structures, there is a worry that private plans will ultimately struggle to compete with any government-run insurance system, causing loss of coverage. In a worst-case scenario, coverage options would continue to dwindle until there is nothing left but the government-run plan. For people with long-term mental and physical health concerns, who require individualized, extensive care, loss of coverage options would be devastating.

Patient outcomes are not a political bargaining chip. In order to improve health care, we must work together to strengthen the positive outcomes the ACA has already brought.

If you agree, join us and sign the petition to improve upon the ACA, not dismantle it in favor of a one-size-fits-all system.

Sincerely,

Drs. Asim Shah and Nidal Moukaddam

Dr. Asim Shah is executive vice chair & professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of psychiatry at Harris Health System — Ben Taub Hospital. Dr. Nidal Moukaddam is an associate professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. Both physicians reside in Texas.
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