The AARC has sent comments to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders with copies to all Senators advocating for affordable and effective health care for patients with chronic respiratory disease.
By now you are aware the House of Representatives passed a bill known as the American Health Care Act. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill, if enacted, would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the coming decade; however, it would also increase the number of Americans who are uninsured by 23 million over that timeframe relative to current law. The Senate has elected to draft new legislation rather than vote on the House version and that process is ongoing.
“We want to make sure our patients’ benefits are maintained in whatever health care legislation comes out of Congress”, said President Brian Walsh, highlighting “patients with chronic respiratory disease require specialized expert care such as the care provided by respiratory therapists.” AARC stressed the need for patients to continue to have access to a broad set of life sustaining services and to ensure patients with pre-existing conditions are not comprised by waivers that may result in less robust coverage.
Patients suffering from chronic respiratory disease are prevalent and costly to the health care system. AARC stressed the need to ensure their access to health care remains accessible and affordable. Additionally, healthy decisions and preventative health care are also important considerations. “This is a time for the AARC to step up to the plate and advocate for including respiratory therapists in clinics, medical homes and other vehicles such as telehealth as a way to improve quality of care and reduce costly acute care interventions”, Walsh added. AARC supports prevention and wellness measures such as routine newborn screening, wellness visits, smoking cessation, disease management and pulmonary rehabilitation in future legislation.