Earlier this month, I had the privilege of addressing the Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2017 at the Divisional Academic Ceremony. Our graduating students are entering the medical profession at a time of great uncertainty over whether their patients will have access to the type of comprehensive, affordable coverage that leads to better health outcomes. I encouraged our young physicians to advocate for the most vulnerable in our society, and to speak up on issues that will be central to their careers as physicians.
The most pressing issue is proposed legislation that would dramatically cut federal support for health care for the most vulnerable Americans. The American Health Care Act that narrowly passed the U.S. House last month would increase the number of uninsured people by 23 million, cut $834 billion out of Medicaid and remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In the coming weeks, the Senate is poised to vote on its version of a health care bill.
We urge the Senate to take a comprehensive approach to health care reform that maintains broad access to health insurance, provides financial support so people can get care and providers can serve their communities and promote cost-saving innovations.
More information about the potential impact in Illinois, and the ripple effect the Senate’s decision will have on hospitals, may be found in an op-ed that I wrote that was published in Crain’s Chicago Business.